(Everything is not as it seems)
Sheila Roberts a resident of Broadway Street in Jackson, was arrested Friday, December 13th after a weapon was found at her resident at 3:47pm by Authorities during execution of a search warrant for electronics.
Mrs. Roberts was served 7 criminal summons for Harassment. At the time she was served, she was also given a search warrant for her home, for items connected to the Criminal Summons for harassment. No where in the search warrant does it state a search for a weapon was part of the documents outlined the search. The weapon was found during the search for electronics.
Contrary to posted material by a local media outlet on social media and according to the Summons she was served, Mrs. Roberts WAS NOT ARRESTED FOR HARASSMENT. Also, according to Mrs. Roberts, the majority of items taken were not hers other than her cell phone, as some have stated on social media.
An arrest Citation showed Mrs. Roberts was arrested for the following, “Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon. Executed Search Warrant to Collect evidence used in commission of (7) Harassment Complaints/Summons Issued against Subject. During the search a Bolt Action Rifle was discovered in the home. Roberts was convicted of drug trafficking in 2007.”
Roberts was arrested and subsequently transported to Three Forks Regional Jail in Lee County and was released the following morning, Saturday, December 15th, according to a Three Forks Regional Jail Booking officer and The husbands statement, on her own recognizance, (no Bond). A $5.00 document fee was paid.
Appalachian Citizens Voice had a chance to talk to Mrs. Roberts about her arrest and she repeatedly stated she had no idea the weapon, which was found in the basement, where her son used the room, was in the home. Mrs. Robert’s son stated it was his rifle and was put up where it could not be seen. He also stated he removed the firing pin some time ago, making it nothing more than a decorative piece, and he had stored the firing pin in the 3rd floor of the home. He says he assisted the police in recovering the firing pin and stated to APPCV that his mother had no idea he had the rifle or firing pin in the home.
The search warrant was executed by Breathitt Sheriff’s Department and were assisted by State Police, and multiple City Police officers. The search warrant, which was obtained by Appalachian Citizens Voice states the following information:
Affiant Michael Wolfe, a peace officer of the Breathitt County Sheriff’s Office being first duly sworn states he has , and there is reasonable and probable grounds to believe and Affiant does believe there is now on the premises known and numbered as: 364 Broadway (Description of house followed), and/or in a vehicle or vehicles described as; any and all vehicles on the property and /or on the person or persons of: any and all persons in the home the following described property to wit: any electronic devise capable of photography, or connecting to the internet, particularly social media, and or capable of being used to Post on the internet, directly used during the year long commission of harassing communications.
In total 11 items were taken from the Roberts home to include 10 electronics related items and a rifle belonging to Mrs. Roberts son.
The 7 counts of Harassment were all filed on Friday December 13th and electronically signed by the regional Judge Hall with in an 8 minute time span. All 7 Criminal summons were processed through the Breathitt County Attorney’s office, Mr. Brendon Miller. The following are Criminal summons complaints from documents and uniform citation issued by Major Mike Wolfe.
(Note: all 7 Criminal Summons state virtually the same information: Committed the offense of harassment in violation of KRS 525.070 When, with the intent to harass and annoy another person, she posts inappropriate and false statement and threads on social media in regards to the affiant.)
- Harassment – Victim – Mike Wolfe
- Harassment – Victim – Bill Landrum
- Harassment – Victim – Calvin Saum
- Harassment – Victim – Mitch Smith
- Harassment – Victim – Donnie Bush
- Harassment – Victim – Ellis Tincher
- Harassment – Victim – Ray Moore
Mrs. Roberts is scheduled for court on the 7 Criminal summons on January 9th, 2020 at 9:00am in Breathitt District Court.
Appalachian Citizens Voice has always been supportive of law enforcement and the justice system and strives to present the facts from all sides in our articles. All information in this article is derived directly from legal documents concerning this case as well as statements from the parties who were accused and searched in this case. The accused is innocent until proven guilty.
It must be noted that several people are using social media to attack Mrs. Roberts, (screenshots have been provided to APPCV of those attacking Mrs. Roberts), which is no better that what Mrs. Roberts is accused of. We ask each of you posting harassing comments on Mrs. Roberts, what gives you the right to harass a person just because she was accused of harassment. Why shouldn’t all of you be charged for harassing Mrs. Roberts? Where is the difference? Food for thought.
We will have more on this story as information becomes available.
(Update – A sad tragedy has occurred after the arrest and search of the Roberts’ home. Mrs. Roberts son, Phillip Everett Brewer, tragically took his life early Monday morning on December 16th, 2019. Funeral Arrangements for Mr. Brewer)
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
Cyber Harassment Law and Legal Definition
Cyber harassment refers to online harassment. Cyber harassment or bullying is the use of email, instant messaging, and derogatory websites to bully or otherwise harass an individual or group through personal attacks. Cyber harassment can be in the form of flames, comments made in chat rooms, sending of offensive or cruel e-mail, or even harassing others by posting on blogs or social networking sites. Cyber harassment is often difficult to track as the person responsible for the acts of cyber harassment remains anonymous while threatening others online.
Searches and Seizures: Limitations of Police
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution ensures the right of every American “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,” with the added assurance that “no Warrants shall issue” without probable cause. In other words, police searching you or your property without a warrant is not permitted, and a warrant can be issued if there is probable cause.
Probable cause is generally defined as a reasonable belief that a crime has been committed based upon evidence or sufficient suspicion. A police officer’s hunch is never grounds for probable cause. If a legal basis for probable cause cannot be established, the officer usually must obtain a warrant before proceeding with a search or seizure.
If no valid warrant is present, you have the right to respectfully deny a search or seizure of your person or premises. Only with your express consent can an officer proceed until a warrant is issued.
Probable Cause vs. Reasonable Suspicion
Probable cause shouldn’t be confused with reasonable suspicion. Probable cause may be grounds for a warrantless search or seizure, but reasonable suspicion is not. The line between reasonable suspicion and probable cause has been at the forefront of numerous Supreme Court cases, but the simplest distinction is:
- Reasonable suspicion exists when the likelihood of criminal wrongdoing would be apparent to a trained police officer.
- Probable cause exists when the likelihood of criminal wrongdoing would be apparent to any reasonable person.
When Is a Search Warrant Not Needed?
Since constitution is infinitely complex and subject to interpretation, there are a few notable exceptions to the search warrant rule. One is commonly known as the motor vehicle exception. Established by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1925, the motor vehicle exception stipulates that an officer can search a vehicle without a warrant so long as there is probable cause that a crime has occurred or is occurring.
A warrantless search may also be executed under “exigent circumstances,” whereby an officer has probable cause and an urgent need to take action before a warrant can be issued. For instance, if an officer hears a victim crying for help from inside a private residence, he or she may enter on the grounds that the victim’s life would be endangered in the absence of immediate action.
An officer may also lawfully conduct what’s known as a “stop and frisk,” per the case of Terry v. Ohio. In order to conduct one of these stops, an officer must have reasonable suspicion but not probable cause. When such a stop occurs, an officer may perform a quick pat-down over a person’s clothes to verify that the suspect isn’t armed.
The Issuing of Search Warrants
A search warrant must be issued by a court, and it must be “supported by Oath or affirmation,” a solemn legal declaration of truth. The warrant must also be carried out within a designated time frame and according to designated guidelines, depending on the jurisdiction. Though the Fourth Amendment affords the same protections to all Americans, each state has its own statutes and procedures for upholding this essential tenet of the U.S. Constitution. Below is a breakdown of the law in every state.
Kentucky Search & Seisures
General Overview: According to Section 10 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, “The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers and possessions, from unreasonable search and seizure; and no warrant shall issue to search any place, or seize any person or thing, without describing them as nearly as may be, nor without probable cause supported by oath or affirmation.”
Conditions of Probable Cause: The Kentucky 2009 Search & Seizure Casebook proclaims that in order to demonstrate probable cause, an officer must present “reliable facts, information or circumstances” sufficient to conclude that a crime has been committed and that there is evidence of the crime on the premises to be searched.
Exceptions to the Search Warrant Requirement: The Search and Seizure Casebook recognizes specific situations not protected by the Fourth Amendment. Specifically, an officer can proceed without a warrant if the investigation takes place on abandoned property, if an item is left in plain view, or if there is immediate evidence of a crime. An officer may also proceed with the consent of the suspect.