Reeds Spring man faces 4 felonies

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

60-year-old accused of burglarizing home in Golden

Coker

A 60-year-old man Reeds Spring man is facing four felony charges after allegedly burglarizing a home on Kings Cross Lane in Golden.

Lewis Coker, 60, of Reeds Spring, is facing charges of first-degree burglary, a class B felony; stealing, a class C felony; and two counts of first-degree tampering with a motor vehicle, class C felonies. A conviction on a B felony carries a sentence of 5-15 years in prison, and the C felonies carry sentences of no more than seven years in prison. He is set for a disposition hearing at 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 9 in the court of Judge Victor Head.

Coker was arrested just after 8 a.m. Aug. 19 after the Barry County Sheriff's Department received a call from a woman who said a man was trying to enter her home on Kings Cross Lane, and the man possibly had a weapon.

After arriving at the residence, Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly, along with two deputies and Detective Terry Meek, spoke to the homeowner, who said someone had been inside an RV, parked near the home.

Epperly and one of the deputies searched the RV, but found no one inside. After searching the RV, they noticed the homeowner's truck in the garage was running, prompting them to search inside the home.

The sheriff and deputies found Coker rummaging through a closet inside the home, and he was arrested without further incident.

Epperly said Coker had been dropped off in the area Monday night, allegedly entering the RV and staying there. He said at about 7:45 a.m., Coker approached the back door of the residence and spoke to the woman who lived in the home.

After asking if she owned the RV, Coker allegedly asked if the woman's husband was home, and she said he was not, then Coker asked if anyone else lived there, and she said no one did. Coker then allegedly told the woman he was with the Sheriff's Department and to let him in, then reached toward his back pocket for what she perceived to be a weapon.

Epperly said he believes Coker had a hammer in his back pocket, as a hammer belonging to the homeowner was found in the yard near a chain link fence, and the homeowner said it was previously sitting on the deck.

Epperly said the woman then grabbed her keys and ran to the garage, where she started her car and pulled out as Coker ran to try to stop her from leaving.

"I spoke with the victim [Aug. 19] and told her how smart she was to get out of there," Epperly said. "We believe he had a hammer behind his back when he was talking to her, and we've sent that off to the lab for fingerprints, so there could be another charge coming from that."

After the homeowner left the scene, Coker allegedly ransacked the house and began loading up the homeowner's truck with items, such as jewelry, from the home.

Epperly said Coker has an extensive prior criminal history, and he is being held in the Barry County Jail on a $50,000 cash-only bond.

Epperly said the stealing charge is for Coker allegedly trying to take items from the home, and he was charged with burglary because the homeowner was there at the time. The first count of tampering with a motor vehicle is because Coker allegedly started the homeowner's truck and loaded it with items he was attempting to steal. The second count is for Coker allegedly staying in the RV overnight. Epperly said Coker also allegedly impersonated a police officer by telling the homeowner he was with the Sheriff's Department, and Epperly said a charge for impersonation was likely left off because it is a misdemeanor.

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