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Burglar Who Stole Cabinets Gets 18 Years in Prison from Kenton Co. Jury

From the Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney's Office: 

On August 31, 2012, Kenton County Police were dispatched to a house on Locust Pike for a burglary in progress. The caller told dispatchers two suspicious men could be seen carrying kitchen cabinets out of their neighbor's vacant home. Officer Bob Fultz responded but before arriving on the scene, dispatchers told him the burglars left in a pickup truck and were being followed by the neighbors who called 911.  Fultz radioed Taylor Mill Police for assistance because the truck was headed towards their city. Taylor Mill Police Lt. Tim Bailey spotted the truck, still being followed by the caller, as it headed North into Covington. Bailey stopped the truck with assistance from Covington Police and the Kenton County Sheriff's Department.

Fultz arrived on the scene and identified the truck's driver as Ronnie Dwyer and passenger as Leonard Soard. The suspects were separated and asked how they came into possession of the cabinets. Soard told Fultz that Dwyer paid him $50 to help move cabinets. He denied any knowledge the cabinets were stolen. Soard also denied ever going inside the home from which they were removed, a fact the witnesses directly contradicted. Dwyer told Bailey an elaborate story about buying the cabinets off Craigslist from a man named "Tommy"; however, Dwyer admitted "Tommy" never was at the house where they got the cabinets. Dwyer could not provide a last name or phone number for "Tommy" either. A quick search of Craigslist turned up no ads even remotely matching Dwyer's story.

To make things worse, when subsequently questioned by Fultz, Dwyer told a completely different story. After being arrested and taken to Kenton County Police headquarters to be questioned by Detective Andy Muse, Dwyer reverted back to the Craigslist story. Both Dwyer and Soard were arrested and charged with 3rd Degree Burglary.

Dwyer and Soard were each indicted by the Kenton County Grand Jury for 3rd Degree Burglary. Dwyer was also indicted for being a 1st Degree Persistent Felony Offender based upon his numerous prior felony convictions. The case was called to trial before Kenton Circuit Judge Martin Sheehan on June 25, 2013. Assistant Commonwealth's Attorneys Corey Plybon and Noah Wentz presented testimony and evidence from Kenton County Police Sgt. Ben Wilson who responded to the burglary scene, Fultz, Bailey, and the two neighbors who witnessed the burglary. The investigation was spearheaded by Kenton County Police Detective Paul Anderson who assisted the prosecutors at counsel table during trial.

After a two day trial, the jury deliberated approximately 90 minutes before returning a verdict of guilty against Dwyer and not guilty against Soard.  Jurors would later say Soard's story about not knowing Dwyer was stealing the cabinets was unlikely but possible. The jury then heard testimony and received evidence about Dwyer's criminal history which included prior felony convictions for: Facilitation of Manslaughter, Tampering With Evidence, Promoting Contraband, Fleeing Police, Burglary 3rd Degree, and Assault Under Extreme Emotional Disturbance. The jury then deliberated again before returning a verdict finding Dwyer guilty of being a 1st Degree Persistent Felony Offender and sentencing him to 18 years in prison. Dwyer will appear again before Judge Sheehan for formal, final sentencing in July.

Photo: Ronnie Dwyer/via Kenton Co. Detention Center

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