A Floyd County grand jury issued multiple indictments last week against two Floyd County residents accused of stealing vehicles and other items.
The grand jury issues three indictments against Josh Akers, 21, of Martin, and two indictments against Printer resident Steven Chad Castle, 35, of Printer.
Two indictments accuse the pair of allegedly stealing a vehicle belonging to David Pinson on Christmas Day 2018. In those cases, Akers and Castle are charged with theft by unlawful taking, valued at $10,000 or more, and Akers is also accused of being a persistent felony offender in the second degree.
Floyd County Commonwealth’s Attorney Brent Turner said that Pinson left the keys in his vehicle when he entered a local gas station, and the pair allegedly stole it from the parking lot.
The other two indictments issued against Akers are related to each other, Turner explained.
Akers faces two other persistent felony charges in both of those cases, in which he was indicted for receiving stolen property, valued at less than $10,000, and theft by unlawful taking, valued at $500 or more.
According to the indictments and district court files in the cases, Akers was arrested on Feb. 8 for allegedly receiving stolen property, a motorcycle belonging to Cody Boyd. Kentucky State Police officials reported at the time of the arrest that motorcycle was stolen from Martin and was later located in Prestonsburg.
The third indictment against Akers alleges that he stole a utility trailer stationed at the Maytown Volunteer Fire Department two days after the motorcycle was allegedly stolen.
“When they found the trailer … the stolen motorcycle was on the trailer,” Turner said. “The stolen trailer was hauling the stolen motorcycle.”
In the second indictment against Castle, the grand jury accused him of stealing a truck belonging to Kevin Gayheart, charging him with receiving stolen property, valued under $10,000, and theft by unlawful taking, valued at $500 or more.
According to documents filed in Floyd District Court when Castle was initially arrested on Dec. 31, Gearheart’s truck was stolen while he was in O’Reilly’s Auto Parts in Prestonsburg. The truck was later found at a residence in Hunter, the documents allege, and Castle was allegedly removing parts from it when police arrived at the scene.
Turner said that Akers could face up to 40 years in prison if he is convicted of all charges in the three indictments issued against him and the sentences imposed are set to run consecutively. The potential penalty in the case in which he is accused of stealing an automobile could be enhanced to 20 years with the persistent felony offender charge, Turner explained.
If Castle is convicted in the two cases filed against him, he could be sentenced to between five and 10 years for allegedly receiving the stolen truck, between one and five years for allegedly stealing items from the truck and between five and 10 years for the vehicle theft he and Akers are accused of participating in.
Both Akers and Castle are scheduled to be arraigned in these cases on July 1.
These aren’t the only Floyd County charges that Akers is currently facing.
On April 27, he was arrested by Floyd County Sheriff Deputy Daren Lawson on theft by unlawful taking, valued at $10,000 or more, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, public intoxication of a controlled substance, second-degree criminal mischief, possession of drug paraphernalia and theft of mail matter.
Lawson alleges in the citation that he was called to investigate a complaint of Akers “trying to break into vehicles” at Citizens Bank in New Allen last month. He claimed that he had received several anonymous tips about Akers driving a stolen vehicle that day.
“Akers had a Red Mazda CR-V parked in the parking lot that he claimed was his,” Lawson wrote. “However, he did not have a key to the vehicle.”
Lawson, who worked with Deputy Kevin Johnson during the investigation, reported that he contacted the owner of the vehicle who claimed it had been stolen that week.
Lawson reported that the vehicle had about $500 worth of damage, that Akers appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance and that several small plastic baggies and a “tooter straw” were found inside the vehicle, along with mail that did not belong to the vehicle’s owner or Akers.
Akers denied the allegations during his arraignment in that case last month in Floyd District Court. The case was sent to the grand jury for consideration.
Editor’s note: An indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.