18-year-old sentenced to 11.5 years

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An 18-year-old former Henry County resident will be sentenced to 11.5 years in prison after accepting a plea agreement last week in Henry County Circuit Court.

The sentencing for Cody Russo, of Crestwood, was passed to Jan. 10, while a presentencing investigation is completed.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Barry Moore agreed to give Russo credit for time served while on home incarceration for a 2010 case, in which Russo was indicted for 1st degree robbery,  1st degree assault and bribing a public servant, all class D felonies, and possession of marijuana and conspiracy to commit bribing a witness, both class A misdemeanors.

“You know you’re going to prison,” Moore said to Russo during the court hearing. “You can either make it a positive experience or a negative one. I hope it’s a positive one.”

Russo quietly responded that “I’ll do my best.”

Earlier this year, Russo, who had been on diversion, was arrested after Kentucky State Police stopped him for not wearing a seat belt. During the stop, Russo allegedly kicked a plastic bag containing eight grams of heroin under the car.

He was charged with not wearing a seat belt and trafficking in a controlled substance. As part of the plea agreement, the trafficking charge was amended to 1st degree possession of a controlled substance.

In January, Russo will be sentenced to 10 years on the 2010 charges, and 18 months on the 2012 charges.

As Russo returned to the jury box to sit with other inmates from the Carroll County Detention Center, he gave his mother a “chin up” gesture, trying to reassure her that everything would be okay.

As he left the courtroom, he raised his handcuffed hands, and his mother waved goodbye.


Also in Henry County Circuit Court

Judge Karen Conrad accepted a plea for one of the four pending cases involving a meth lab and a perpetrator hiding in the false wall of a Lacie home.

Holly Stokeley, 19, of Vermillion, faced a possible 30-year sentence for offenses committed involving methamphetamine.

Stokeley plead Thursday to complicity in facilitating the manufacturing of methamphetamine, a class D felony, and distribution of a methamphetamine precursor. Sentences for offenses will run consecutively with each other for a total of a 10-year sentence. Stokeley’s sentence will remain probated for five years and she must remain outside Henry, Oldham and Trimble Counties. Stokeley must also attend and complete a court approved drug treatment program under zero tolerance for any new offenses.

The Henry County Grand Jury indicted Stokeley on a class D felony for possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia after Kentucky State Police stopped a car Stokeley was the passenger in. Stokeley was in the back of the car and a K-9 unit hit on Stokeley’s purse. Police found a purple container with meth residue. In the report, Stokeley admitted to snorting meth, but wouldn’t admit to it being hers.

In June, Kentucky State Police arrested Stokeley again in connection with a meth lab involving three other adults.

Troopers conducted a “knock and talk” at 9610 Maddox Ridge Road and found lithium strips and cut up batteries in a burn pit near the back door of the home. State police found an active meth lab and Michael Byers, of Eminence, hiding in a false wall inside the home. Stokeley was not inside the home at the time.

“I was living in a house out in Lacie. I wasn’t there at the time,” Stokeley said. “I had left that night in a woman’s car who lived there said I could use it. I was seeing a friend in Oldham County and I got pulled over the next day.”

In the report from Kentucky State Police, it  states Stokeley was arrested after attempting to leave the state and return home to Ohio the following day.

Judge Karen Conrad will impose sentencing Feb. 14 on Stokeley’s case.

Conrad sentenced Michael A. Rucker, 58, of Pleasureville on sex abuse charges from 2011. According to the citation by Kentucky State Trooper Jason Brown, on July 27, 2011, Rucker admitted to committing sexual abuse acts against a minor under 12.
“The Commonwealth offered you probation… her parents didn’t wish for her testify, but it doesn’t make what you did any less horrific for  (the victim) or family,” Conrad said. “In reading the victim’s impact statement, I am distressed at the amount of suffering this child has undergone. You were in a position of trust. You were babysitting her and you offended her Mr. Rucker. She was 10-years-old and she couldn’t protect herself. You are not 10 are you?”

Conrad emphasized she would watch Rucker’s progress closely.

Rucker pleaded guilty to three counts of 1st degree sexual abuse, victim under 12 years of age. Rucker was sentenced to 5 years for each count and will serve 5 years of probation. Rucker must participate in sex a offender program, and register for life with local probation or parole officer as having a sex crime and or criminal offense against a minor.

Rucker must undergo a HIV test and give a sample of blood to law enforcement for DNA evidence.

Under the guidelines of his sentencing Rucker cannot: hold a position volunteer or paid that places him in contact with or authority over female children without the prior express approval of his supervision agent and therapist. Not date, live with, or enter in a relationship with anyone who has a female child without prior consent.

Rucker agreed with the factual contents of the presentencing investigation report on his case.


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