Oct. 22-CATLETTSBURG - An Ashland man could be facing nearly two decades in prison for a shoplifting incident when he is due for sentencing on Nov. 10.
Aaron Tussey, 44, was convicted Oct. 11 on a sole count of third-degree burglary, following a jury trial that didn't even last a full business day. The jury of seven men and five women acquitted Tussey on one count of theft more than $500 in value.
Third-degree burglary - which is usually charged when someone is trespassed from a business and continues to show back up - is only a one-to-five. However, Tussey has priors on his records, which made him eligible for a first-degree persistent felony offender status.
During the sentencing phase of the trial, the jury took about 45 minutes to figure up Tussey's sentence - they sentenced him to the maximum of five years, found him to be a persistent felony offender and made a recommendation of 18 years in prison.
The recommendation is just that - a recommendation. When Judge John Vincent sentences Tussey in November, he will have the discretion to sentence Tussey to less than the recommendation. However, the judge cannot exceed the recommendation.
A police report filed in the case shows Tussey was arrested on March 4, after Boyd County Sheriff's deputies responded to reports of shoplifting at the U.S. 60 Rural King. Tussey was stopped in a car in the area of Winslow Road, where deputies found multiple bags with plasma cutters inside, the report states.
Deputies checked with the store manager and found the cutters - valued at almost $900 - and found that of the five in stock, he had just one on the shelf, records show.
The report states Tussey was confronted by two employees when he exited the store, records show. Deputies also found a spot where he had hidden other power tools inside the store so he could come back and scoop them up later, the report states.
Tussey was previously convicted of stealing from Rural King and was forbidden from the premises as a result, records show.
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