Two men accused of burglarizing a Milan home over a year ago have not been before a Ripley County judge yet.

“On Monday, Oct. 1, 2018, Ripley County Communications received a report of a residential burglary located at 2615 N. County Road 750 E., Milan,” from owner Jeremiah Gabbard, according to a probable cause affidavit written by Ripley County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Randy Holt that was filed Nov. 19 in Ripley Circuit Court.

When Gabbard returned home, he found that someone had broken into the residence and stolen firearms, coins, computers, jewelry and musical equipment.

At about 4:05 p.m. Holt arrived to investigate and was met by Gabbard and his wife, Allison. The husband said the home had been left locked at around 7:54 a.m. When the couple returned at around 2:45 p.m., they found that the front door was standing open and an east side window was open with the screen laying on the ground.

In addition to the open window and screen, the officer also observed that the vegetation below the window was mashed down and that there appeared to be finger smudges on the window’s lower exterior. He also noticed the main entry door had damage consistent with pry marks. Inside, Holt saw items out of place at the front door and several drawers and cabinets on the first and second floors ajar and appearing to have been rifled through.

Photographs were taken, surfaces were swabbed for possible DNA evidence and a Marlboro cigarette butt found below the open window was collected, the court document stated.

The Gabbards reported missing items included a Ruger .22-caliber revolver in a cloth case, which also contained credit cards; Fender guitar with a broken neck; violin in case; Savage .22-caliber bolt action rifle with black scope; Acer laptop computer; iLok Avid thumb drive; silver earrings with ruby settings; and black Swiss Army backpack.

The next day, Indiana State Police crime scene investigator Steve Weigel told Holt that the Dearbom County Sheriff’s Office had made two arrests in connection with a burglary in the Moores Hill area. Elvis Kent, Madison, had been located with stolen property that may have been related to the Gabbard burglary.

On Oct. 3, 2018, the RCSO officer spoke with Dearbom County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Wally Lewis, who reported that as a result of a search warrant, stolen property had been recovered from Kent and an associate, Denver Harvey, Moores Hill. Both were incarcerated at the Dearborn County Jail, Lawrenceburg. Among the recovered items were a Savage .22-caliber rifle, Acer laptop computer, black Swiss Army backpack and Avid thumb drive.

The deputy informed Holt that when the search warrant was executed at the Moores Hill trailer park lots 41 and 45, a violin in a case and a guitar were observed in the van that Harvey was operating, but the items were not collected.

On Oct. 5, 2018, RCSO Sgt. Corky Houseworth arrived at the Harvey residence at lot 45 and spoke with Robyn Harvey, his wife. The officer obtained consent to retrieve the violin and case and guitar from the van. Houseworth was also given a pair of silver earrings with ruby settings by the wife, who said she did not know who they belonged to.

On Oct. 9, 2018, the Gabbards positively identified the violin and case, guitar and earrings as property stolen from their residence. Holt interviewed Harvey at the Dearbom County Jail later that day.

He stated that on Oct. 1, 2018, Kent agreed to pay him gas money to take him to a residence in Milan to pick up some of his stuff. Harvey said he drove Kent to an older two-story farmhouse that morning and dropped him off, agreeing to pick him up. He returned 10 or 15 minutes later. Kent loaded a rifle, violin in a case, guitar and a revolver into the van. Harvey drove Kent to East Enterprise, where Kent unloaded several items, leaving others behind.

The deputy told Holt that while processing property recovered from Kent, a Capitol One credit card in the name of Jeremiah Gabbard and a Visa Quicksilver one in the name of Allison Gabbard were recovered from Kent’s wallet.

On Oct. 23, 2018, a search warrant was obtained through Ripley Circuit Court for oral buccal (saliva) swabs from Kent and the next day four swabs were collected and submitted to the Indiana State Police Laboratory for examination along with the cigarette butt. The lab report concluded “the DNA profile developed from the Marlboro cigarette butt is at least 1 trillion times more likely if it originated from Elvis Kent than if it originated from an unknown, unrelated individual. This analysis provides very strong support for the proposition that Elvis Kent is the contributor of the DNA profile,” the affidavit noted.

Harvey was charged with three Level 4 felonies: conspiracy to commit burglary; burglary; and aiding, inducing or causing burglary. Kent was charged with the first two counts.

Neither man has had an initial hearing yet.

In a separate case, two days after the alleged Milan burglary, Harvey was charged with methamphetamine possession, a Level 6 felony, in Dearborn Superior Court 1, according to https://public.courts.in.gov/mycase, the Odyssey case management system used by Indiana courts.

After pleading guilty, Dearborn Superior Court No. 1 Judge Jonathan Cleary sentenced him June 4 to 910 days in jail with 760 days suspended and 75 days of jail credit, to be served consecutively with a prior sentence.

On Oct. 25, the Dearborn County court filed a probation violation and a warrant was issued for Harvey’s arrest. Likewise, on Nov. 19, Ripley Circuit Court issued an arrest warrant as well.

After the Milan burglary, but before documents were filed in Ripley Circuit Court, Kent pleaded guilty to a separate Dearborn County crime, burglary resulting in bodily injury, a Level 3 felony, according to https://public.courts.in.gov/mycase.

He was sentenced March 20 to four years in the Indiana Department of Correction (12 years with eight years suspended and 169 days of jail credit) by Dearborn Circuit Court Judge James Humphrey. Kent is incarcerated in the Plainfield Correctional Facility with his earliest possible release date Oct. 1, 2021, the online IDOC Offender Search said.

Debbie Blank can be contacted at debbie.blank@batesvilleheraldtribune.com or 812-717-3113.

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