29-year-old with four criminal cases sent to prison

By Ashley Bunton - abunton@aimmediamidwest.com

A 29-year-old was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison during an appearance in the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas Monday on charges in four criminal felony cases.

Rusty D. Penwell, Jr., of Washington Court House, entered into a jointly-recommended plea and sentence with the court that included an order to pay restitution to a victim in the amount of $574.74.

The restitution was ordered to be paid for an April theft incident in which a man reported his debit card stolen. Penwell was seen using the debit card to make cash withdrawals, said Fayette County Assistant Prosecutor Sean Abbott. Abbott said the man also reported Penwell stole video games and a drill, and attempted to re-sell the items.

Judge Steven Beathard ordered Penwell to serve a six-month term after he entered a guilty plea to charges of theft, a fifth-degree felony, and receiving stolen property, a fifth-degree felony.

In May, Penwell was arrested and charged with aggravated possession of drugs after the Ohio Department of Natural Resources reported a suspicious person in a park in Washington Court House. The Washington Court House Police Department located a metal can containing a substance that later tested positive for Carfentanil, Abbott said.

For pleading guilty to aggravated possession of drugs, Carfentanil, a fifth-degree felony, he received a six-month sentence.

Penwell was charged with failure to appear in October when he missed a court appearance, according to Abbott. After pleading guilty to failure to appear, a fourth-degree felony, Penwell was sentenced to a six-month prison term.

Penwell plead guilty in a case of burglary, a second-degree felony. Beathard ordered Penwell to serve two years in prison. Penwell entered houses on Clinton Avenue and stole purses, according to the Washington Court House Police Department, said Abbott.

Penwell was credited with 41 days of local jail time in which he was held in the Fayette County Jail on the charges.

Beathard told Penwell that he is eligible for one to five days of good time credit depending on program participation in prison. The last six months of Penwell’s sentencing may be served in an electronic monitoring transitional program or halfway house, but that decision is made by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, according to Beathard.

Without the jointly-recommended and plea negotiation, Penwell faced a maximum possible prison sentence of 11-and-a-half years.


By Ashley Bunton


Contact Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or connect on Twitter by searching Twitter.com for @ashbunton and send a message.

Contact Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or connect on Twitter by searching Twitter.com for @ashbunton and send a message.