VIDEO: Familiar Face Returns To Court For Sentencing
By Mike Perleberg
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – The prison time for a convicted criminal is quickly adding up after a sentencing hearing Friday.
And Billy Luke still has at least three more cases pending.
Luke, 28, of Dillsboro was first convicted of Public Indecency in July of 2012 for exposing himself to female employees of Deville’s Drug Store, just across a small alley from his home. While out of jail on probation in January, Luke allegedly violated the protection orders.
“Unfortunately he will do everything he can to intimidate the victims,” said Dearborn-Ohio County Prosecutor Aaron Negangard, “So we will do everything we can to see that he is incarcerated as long as possible because those victims are entitled to live and work in peace and he seems to be determined to stop that.”
A Dearborn County jury convicted Luke of three counts of Invasion of Privacy (Class D felony) during a July trial in Dearborn Superior Court II. On Friday, Dearborn Superior Court II Judge Sally Blankenship sentenced Luke to a total of four years in prison. 365 days of probation was revoked on a fourth Invasion of Privacy charge, essentially adding another year to Luke’s sentence.
Blankenship allowed Luke, who has been in jail since January 10, to receive pre-sentence jail credit time dating only from August 13.
Before he is sent to prison, Luke has other cases that must still be settled in Dearborn County courts. On August 21, he was convicted by a jury on a single count of Stalking and eight counts of Criminal Mischief. An ex-inmate at the jail recorded phone calls with Luke, who was still in jail, in which he detailed plans to “liberate” Dillsboro by shooting up the Dillsboro Police Department and further harassing his initial victims by placing a condom full of used ammunition on one of their vehicles.
In May, he was charged with Intimidation after a note Luke allegedly wrote to Sheriff Mike Kreinhop was found in his jail cell. In the letter, Luke claimed that his “boss” wanted to put a bullet through the Dillsboro Chief of Police’s kevlar vest.
Just last month, Luke was accused in taking part in an attack on a fellow inmate at the Dearborn County Law Enforcement Center.
Blankenship read off those allegations, his long list of past convictions dating back to his days as a juvenile, and more in citing the aggravating factors that contributed to her handing down the longest sentence allowed by law.
The judge agreed to defense attorney Michael Sarapata’s request that an appellate attorney be assigned to Luke immediately.
Before the five year sentence was announced, Dearborn-Ohio County Prosecutor Aaron Negangard pointed out to Blankenship that Luke was smiling and rolling his eyes as the judge listed the aggravating factors and other accusations against him.
“The victims are very troubled by the fact that a person who has been in jail and punished for repeatedly contacting them, harassing them, and committing crimes against them will not stop. He expressed no remorse here today and in fact made a statement to the court indicating that he didn’t break the law,” Negangard said.
The prosecutor believes Luke relishes in the attention he receives in court and in the media.
An attorney representing Luke in one of his cases has requested a hearing for change of venue. The local media coverage of Luke’s antics –including Eagle 99.3 website articles – were attached as evidence that Luke may not be able to receive a fair trial in the county. No ruling has been made on that request.
Sentencing for Luke’s August 21 conviction on Stalking and Criminal Mischief charges is scheduled for September 18 in Dearborn Circuit Court. The jailhouse beating case is scheduled to go to trial on September 15 in Dearborn Superior Court I, but could be continued to a later date.
“Individuals in society have to obey the law. He is determined not to do that and the consequence of that is prison, which he is now headed to at some point in the future when we get all these other cases resolved,” said Negangard.