Charges lead to indictments

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Lewisburg man was indicted by the grand jury this month on charges of rape and aggravated kidnapping.

Owen Presley, 66, of 2nd Avenue North, allegedly forced a woman into his house and kept her there against her will, raping her repeatedly, according to arrest warrants sworn out by Lewisburg Police Detective Sgt. David Henley.

Presley asked the victim for help opening his front door and forced her inside, Henley said. The detective declined to elaborate.

The case file reveals that Presley's criminal record includes five convictions for assault and two for aggravated assault since 1990.

Also this month, the grand jury indicted a 35-year-old man on a rape charge when the victim was 14 years old, public records show.

Lewisburg Police Detective Scott Braden swore out the arrest warrant on Dec. 15 and that day took Robert Jason Burgess into custody on a rape charge, according to public records at the Marshall County Courthouse.

Burgess is represented by Shelbyville attorney John Norton.

"He's pleading not guilty," said his aunt, Sudie Milam of Lewisburg.

Burgess was released on bond, but his bond was later revoked in connection with a charge alleging failure to appear in Chancery Court, as well as arrests in April for possession of a controlled substance, simple possession, drug paraphernalia and promotion of manufacture of methamphetamine.

There was no preliminary hearing for the defendant who waived his right to that opportunity on May 25, according to the notation signed by Marshall County General Sessions Court Judge Steve Bowden on that Tuesday.

The grand jury met two weeks ago and, on a request from District Attorney Chuck Crawford, the defendant in this case was named in a 13-count indictment that alleges the sex offenses occurred between September and December last year.

Also indicted were:

* Andrew Jason Luna, 40, of Culleoka. He is charged with initiation of the process of manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a handgun with intent to go armed during the commission of a dangerous felony. Luna is represented by Columbia-based attorney John Colley III.

* Jessica Prince, also known as Jessica Harper, 22, is charged with two charges of forgery. The indictments include copies of the checks Prince allegedly made out to herself, forging the signature of the accountholder, Melba Hopkins of South Berkley Circle. The amounts of the checks were $5,000 and $6,700. Prince's address is given as Columbia on some documents, and Maple Street on others.

Indictment is not a determination of guilt. It is a finding of probable cause leading toward a trial. Guilt is established by a conviction either after a trial or the court's acceptance of a guilty plea.