December 28, 2012

Couple indicted for exploiting elderly person

By Carol Mills
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — A Laurel couple was indicted on claims they used intimidation against an elderly person.

Robert J. Walker, 32, and 44-year-old Melissa Walker, both of East Bernstadt, are charged with knowingly exploiting an adult of more than $300 and a second count charges them with theft by extortion valued at $500 or more by knowingly obtaining more than $10,000 from the same victim by threatening to accuse her of a criminal offense.

The Walkers represented themselves as owners/operators of B&M Lawn Care, allegedly forced an elderly person to pay them more than $10,000 between May and November of this year for lawn services they provided.

The investigating officer, Sgt. Joe Smith with the London Police Department wrote on the arrest warrant that he had spoken with another lawn service who estimated the cost of mowing the victim’s yard at $35, a job that could be completed in 30 to 40 minutes. Instead, the Walkers charged the victim numerous times for yard work at rates of $240, $285, $610, $950, $130, $1,400, and $600, according to checks written by the victim, who is more than 80 years old.

The arrest warrant stated most of the money was taken between September and November for yard work, and had been done by the Walkers. They then threatened to have the elderly person put in jail if they did not receive the money they said was due to them.

An indictment is an accusation only and does not imply guilt or innocence.