Mall thief, meth lab operator sentenced in Fayette County Court of Common Pleas

By Ashley Bunton -



Two men serving out sentences for crimes in other counties were conveyed to Fayette County this week and were sentenced in cases on felony charges.

In the first case, a Cincinnati man who admitted to stealing more than $2,000 from Old Navy was sentenced Monday in the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas and was ordered by Judge Steven Beathard to spend six months in prison.

Jeffrey Briggs, Jr. was conveyed from the Warren County Jail for the hearing, where he is currently incarcerated on charges of theft and criminal trespass. Briggs had stolen merchandise from stores at the Cincinnati Premium Outlets in Monroe.

A records check showed that Briggs was involved in a shoplifting incident in 2014 at the Cincinnati Premium Outlets where he stole $1,111.27 in merchandise from Lacoste, Gap and Claire’s. At the same location in 2015, he stole from eight stores totalling $2,793.41.

In Fayette County, the 27-year-old plead guilty in December to theft, a fifth-degree felony, after being caught on surveillance video May 28, 2016 at the Tanger Outlet Mall in Jeffersonville. A loss prevention officer working for Old Navy was familiar with Briggs and identified him as the shoplifter.

In addition to the six-month prison sentence, Briggs was ordered to pay restitution. Briggs told the court during sentencing that he was hoping to avoid prison because he wanted to go back to focusing on his career as a culinary artist.

In the second case that came before the court, a Greenfield man admitted Wednesday to operating a mobile meth lab in Washington Court House last year.

Thirty-one-year-old Jody. L. Watson, Jr. appeared in the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas and after pleading guilty to illegal assembly of possession of chemicals, a third-degree felony, he was sentenced by Judge David Bender.

Bender sentenced Watson to nine months in prison, a term that will be added to his current prison stint at Pickaway Correctional Institution. Watson was sentenced in Highland County Dec. 7 on a handful of charges, including illegal possession of chemicals, and received a four-year and three-month prison term.

In total, Watson was ordered to serve five years in prison for both cases in Highland and Fayette counties.

Watson was allegedly a rear passenger in a car that was stopped Oct. 7, 2016 at the intersection of Cherry and Sycamore streets in Washington C.H. A mobile meth lab was located in the car containing various fuels, jars, batteries, funnels and hoses, and “a large amount of needles and drug paraphernalia,” according to the reporting officer.



By Ashley Bunton

Reach Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton

Reach Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton