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:
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RCN: Joseph Hopper faces sixteen years after pleading guilty to robbery first degree and receiving stolen property (under $10,000). What's the story?
SANDERS: On July 17, 2012, a homeowner on Reidlin Road in Taylor Mill reported a burglary. Taylor Mill Police conducted a neighborhood canvass. One neighbor described two suspicious men in a black Saturn who knocked on his door but were then surprised when someone answered. The men asked if the homeowner needed any lawn care done then left in a hurry when the homeowner said no. The homeowner recognized one of the men as the former boyfriend of an acquaintance but did not know the man's name. Another neighbor told police he saw two men carrying property out of the house that was burglarized and speed away in a black Saturn. Among the items taken in the burglary were a .380 caliber handgun and a vintage Gibson electric guitar valued over $14,000. The first neighbor later responded to Taylor Mill Police and told Detective Pat Reis the name of his acquaintance's ex-boyfriend is Patrick Garvey. A short time later, Patrick Garvey was stopped by another officer for speeding and transported to Taylor Mill PD for questioning. Garvey admitted to being the getaway driver but claimed Joseph Hopper and Ronnie Miller were the actual burglars. Detective Reis later located Joseph Hopper who admitted to committing the burglary but said it was Garvey, not Miller, who broke into the house with him. Detective Reis next tracked down Ronnie Miller who admitted to pawning the guitar at Garvey's request but was adamant that he was not present for the burglary. Miller stated it was Garvey and Hopper who did the actual burglary. The vintage guitar was recovered from a pawn shop in Ohio. The gun was never recovered and is believed to have been traded for drugs.
All three suspects were arrested. Hopper pled guilty Burglary and Receiving Stolen Property (>$10,000). Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Megan Mersch is recommending a 16 year sentence. Hopper is scheduled for formal final sentencing on July 23. Garvey pled guilty to Burglary and Receiving Stolen Property (>10,000). Mersch is recommending a 10 years in prison for Garvey at final sentencing on August 13. Miller pled guilty to Complicity to Theft (>$10,000) and Mersch is recommending 7 years in prison at final sentencing, also on August 13. Hopper and Miller both have significant criminal histories and were actually escapees from prison in Fayette County at the time of the burglary, hence the heftier sentence recommendations. As indicated by the charges, we believe Garvey told enough of the truth to implicate himself but was lying about only being the getaway driver in an effort to minimize his culpability.
RCN: Daniel Marteny is looking at ten years in prison after pleading guilty to second degree burglary, receiving stolen property (under $500), and second degree persistent felony offender. What did Marteny do?
SANDERS: On December 10, 2012, a resident of the 1800 block of Euclid Avenue reported a burglary. Items missing from the residence included Bose speakers, jewelry, and a water jug full of loose change. Nine days later, the resident came home to find he had again been the victim of a burglary. This time, an iPad was taken. The iPad was equipped with an application called "Where's my iPad?" that allows the GPS location of the iPad to be tracked on the owner's iPhone. The victim provided Covington Police Officer Greg Rogers with his iPhone and police tracked the iPad's location to a residence on West 18th Street in Covington. The burglary victim told officers that a man named Daniel Marteney, who he formerly employed to do yard work, lived at the location where the iPad was located. Officers responded to the residence to speak with Marteney. When their suspect opened the door, officers could see the stolen iPad sitting on his couch. Marteney was arrested for Receiving Stolen Property (>$500).
The first burglary was assigned to Detective Brian Kane for investigation. With Marteny now a suspect, Kane ran his name through pawn shop databases and found Marteney pawned Bose speakers two days after the burglary. Kane also found that Marteney cashed in a large amount of coins at a Kroger Coinstar machine one day after the first burglary. Other pawn records showed Marteney sold jewelry to pawn shops on various days between the two burglaries. Kane then charged Marteney with the first Burglary as well.
On June 20, 2013, Marteney pled guilty to Burglary, Receiving Stolen Property (>$500), and 2nd Degree Persistent Felony Offender. Marteney has a prior felony conviction for 1st Degree Fleeing Police out of Boone County in 2010. Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Corey Plybon is recommending 10 years in prison at final sentencing on July 22.
RCN: David Alsman could go to prison for three years after pleading guilty to two counts of unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual activities. What can you tell us about Alsman's case?
SANDERS: As RCN readers probably know by now, when not responding to calls, Kenton County Police Officer Steve Benner is usually surfing online chat rooms posing as adolescent girls. Alsman began chatting with Benner's underage alter-ego in August of 2010. As Benner worked to discover his identity, Alsman routinely propositioned what he thought was a 13 year old girl for all sorts of sex acts and sent "her" pornographic images via photoshare and emails. The investigation slowed at times because Alman would disappear from the chatroom for weeks or months at a time, only to resume his solicitation of the underage girl when he returned. By January, 2013, Alsman had sent Benner's persona 123 pornographic images and 24 pornographic videos, some of which even depicted bestiality involving horses and dogs with women. Alsman also asked the now-14 year old "girl" to let him perform specific sex acts on her, asked her to urinate on him, and asked her to perform acts of bestiality on a horse. Eventually, with the help of Kentucky State Police, Benner tracked Alsman to Stanford, Kentucky. Benner confirmed Alsman's location, in part, by matching the background in one of Alsman's chatroom videos to a McDonald's restaurant in the town. Alsman was, in fact, soliciting the minor girl for sex while eating dinner in the public restaurant.
Benner obtained a warrant for Alsman's arrest, charging Alsman with 2 counts Use of Electronic Means to Induce a Minor to Commit a Sexual Offense. Alsman pled guilty as charged on June 20, 2013. Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Megan Mersch is recommending 3 years in prison at final sentencing on July 22. As an aside, as sickening as this type of offense is, Kentucky law designates it as a "non-violent" Class D felony. Anytime you read news about legislators wanting to let "non-violent Class D offenders" out of prison early, remember this includes defendants like David Alsman. In Kentucky, "non-violent" rarely means what most people assume it does.
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 Co. Circuit Court
Photo: David Alsman/Kenton Co. Detention Center