Jury Convicts Dillsboro’s Billy Luke Of Violating Three Protection Orders
By Mike Perleberg
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – A Dillsboro man who has become an all too common face in the Dearborn County criminal justice system has been convicted on yet more charges.
Billy Gene Luke first pleaded guilty and got probation for exposing himself to female employees of a drug store in 2012. Once out of jail this past January, Luke allegedly violated protection orders against the victims at the drug store by appearing outside his home next door.
The 28-year-old went to trial on those charges last week. After six hours of deliberations Friday, jurors decided to convict Luke on all three counts of Invasion of Privacy with a prior offense.
Each charge is a Class D felony punishable by six months to three years in prison. Because the incidents happened within the same criminal episode, Luke faces up to four years when he is sentenced in August, Dearborn-Ohio County Prosecutor Aaron Negangard said Monday.
Although his attorney had at one point filed a motion to take the stand during the trial, Luke ultimately did not choose to testify. The victims of his crimes, however, did.
“He enjoys putting the victims through this process,” Negangard told Eagle 99.3.
Luke refused to cooperate with some of the Dearborn County jail’s security protocols for the trial. Those actions, according to the prosecutor, forced the need for more sheriff’s deputies to be present in the courtroom during the five day trial.
“He’s a difficult individual,” Negangard said.
In February, a former fellow inmate of Luke shared with police Luke’s alleged plans to fire marbles from a paintball gun through the drug store window, place a condom full of old ammunition at one of the drug store employees homes, and to shoot up the Dillsboro Police Department with automatic firearms. That brought charges of Stalking, Criminal Mischief, Attempt to Commit Intimidation, and Attempt to Commit Criminal Mischief.
Luke is scheduled to go to trial on those charges in August withstanding a continuance of the case. Negangard says having the conviction from last week’s jury trial will aid in that round of prosecution.
In May, Luke was charged with Intimidation for a letter to Dearborn County Sheriff Mike Kreinhop discovered by jail employees in Luke’s jail cell. Luke allegedly claimed in the letter that he would remedy the “corrupt police in Dillsboro by all means necessary” and that he is “above the law in Dearborn (County).”
This month Luke may have got himself into more trouble when he participated with five other Dearborn County Law Enforcement Center inmates in confining and assaulting another inmate in a jail cell.
“It’s concerning to the victims that he is committing crimes not only when he’s out of jail, but also when he’s in,” Negangard said.