February 6, 2013

Ott’s Store robber pleads

Recommended to serve 40 years

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Residents and business owners in the Swiss Colony area were terrified after repeated burglaries and robberies just before Christmas 2011.

On Monday, the two people charged with involvement in those incidents entered guilty pleas in Laurel Circuit Court.

Joshua Westerfield, 24, of London, was recommended to serve 40 years in prison for his roles in the burglaries and robberies ranging from Nov. 16 through Dec. 12, 2011. Westerfield pled guilty to first-degree robbery of a residence on Nov. 16, a first-degree robbery on Nov. 30 of Ott’s Grocery that was amended to second-degree robbery, second-degree robbery of another residence on Dec. 6, and second-degree burglary of a third residence on Dec. 12.

The first-degree burglary charges carry a 10 to 20 year sentence while the second-degree carry a 5 to 10 year sentence. Robbery in the first-degree carries a 10 to 20 year sentence.

As a family member sat sobbing in the audience, Westerfield agreed to serve a 20-year sentence on the robbery and first-degree burglary charges as well as a 20-year sentence on the two second-degree burglary charges that will run consecutively after the other sentence, giving Westerfield a total of 40 years. Westerfield has been incarcerated since his arrest on Dec. 13, 2011. His time served will apply toward his prison sentence and his official sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 15.

The armed robbery charge stems from Westerfield entering Ott’s Grocery on Nov. 30, brandishing a gun and taking money from the cashiers on duty. He then ran from the store and fled in a waiting vehicle. That incident was followed less than two weeks later when Ott’s Grocery was burglarized by thieves taking cigarettes and other items after breaking into a back door of the store.

Westerfield’s girlfriend, 30-year-old Natalee Wood, who was present during a residential burglary on Dec. 12 as well as helping with the Dec. 10 theft of merchandise from Ott’s Grocery, also pled before Laurel Circuit Judge Tom Jensen on Monday afternoon.

Wood mouthed to her parents prior to the plea that she was “scared” but was remorseful for her actions. Wood, who is from Ohio, has been free on bond since Jan. 23 of last year, just days after she was indicted. Wood’s father said his daughter was staying with her parents in Ohio, had been working and was “coming to grips” with her penalty for her offenses.

At times wiping tears, Wood stood beside her attorney, Ned Pillersdorf, and answered the questions asked by Jensen regarding her plea agreement. She was sentenced to serve six years for the participation in a residential burglary, with the second-degree burglary charge for the Ott’s Grocery break-in being dismissed as part of the plea. Of the ten-count indictment, Wood was only named in two counts.

She is scheduled for sentencing on March 15.

Text Only
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
     View Results