Each week The River City News talks with Kenton County Commonwealth's Attorney Rob Sanders about his weekly e-newsletter that highlights who was sent to prison or got probation in the previous week. At the bottom of this post you can find a link to that newsletter. Here are this week's questions and answers:
RCN: Kelvin Marshall got twelve years for a robbery and the other charge (possession of a handgun by a convicted felon) indicates that this guy had a record. What's the story here?
SANDERS: On May 22, 2012, Mr. Marshall went on a short-lived spree of street robberies in downtown Covington. The first occurred near Covington Tobacco on 4th Street where two people told Covington officers a black man in a blue and yellow striped shirt and black hat had just robbed them at gunpoint. A description of the suspect was broadcast over police radios. A few minutes later Covington Officer Justin Wietholter saw a man fitting the description standing in the 500 block of Russell Street next to a white man. Wietholter stopped and put the man, who turned out to be Marshall, at gunpoint but Marshall refused to show the officer his hands. Marshall then threw an object into a neighboring yard before complying with the officer's commands. Once Marshall was secured, the white man explained that Marshall was in the process of demanding his money when police pulled up. While Wietholter was arresting Marshall another person showed up and said Marshall had just robbed him too. The victims from the first robbery showed up on the scene and identified Marshall as well. Marshall has a prior drug dealing conviction from 2002. 1st Degree Robbery is considered a "violent offense" for parole eligibility purposes meaning Marshall will serve 85% or approximately 10 years of his sentence before being eligible for parole.
RCN: Noticing that some of the folks convicted last week for possession of meth or oxycontin or heroin or cocaine are actually going to prison (some for more than a year) while some are getting probation. How does the prosecution determine whether to seek prison sentences or probation for these drug users?
SANDERS: Most of the people receiving prison recommendations from our prosecutors for possession offenses have another case we're recommending prison on. Many, if not most, drug addicts are committing other kinds of crime to fund their drug habits. We'll give them another chance when it comes to their addiction, and sometimes even on some other minor offenses, but there are other crimes, like burglary, for which we have zero tolerance. If you see a burglar getting probation, it's from the judge, not one of our prosecutors. Other times a drug addicted defendant just re-offends so many times that they give us no choice but to recommend prison, even for possession. Probation isn't meaningful if there are no consequences and our probation officers are already way over-worked so we do what we can to take defendants who refuse to accept help for their addiction off Probation & Parole's caseload.
RCN: Andrew Mullins got two-and-a-half years for the cultivation of marijuana. Where was this farmer growing his crop and what's the story behind his arrest?
SANDERS: Agents from the NKY Drug Strikeforce went to Mr. Mullins' residence on Jefferson Davis Place in Erlanger to speak with him about the heroin he sold to one of their informants. Mr. Mullins was remorseful and cooperative. The agents asked him if he had any illegal substances in his house and Mr. Mullins replied in the affirmative. He then led the agents to a bedroom where he was growing 11 marijuana plants in buckets beneath some grow lights. Mr. Mullins is facing the charges related to the heroin sales in a separate case.
See the full list and mugshots of those who were convicted of felonies in Kenton County Circuit Court in addition to a full explanation of the Cline case at the link: This Week in Kenton Circuit Court
PHOTO: Andrew Mullins/Kenton County Detention Center