Jailer hopeful responds to misdemeanor theft charge

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By Josh Shepherd, News writer

A Harrison County Jailer candidate is facing misdemeanor theft charges in connection with a case report filed with the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office last December.

Anthony Newby, 43, of 116 Marshall Ave. was served a court summons on Monday morning to appear in district court to answer charges of misdemeanor theft under $500. Newby was named as a defendant along with his stepson Brandon Williams, 18, and James Gallagher, 41, of 5188 KY 36.

Prior to being served with the summons, Newby filed with the Harrison County Clerk’s office to run for Harrison County Jailer.

According to the case report filed by Harrison County deputy sheriff Robert Peak, last Dec. 23, Anita Parsons of 208 Richardson Lane reported that several items were stolen from her property and she had video footage of the people that had taken the property.

Among the items listed as stolen included a Stihl chainsaw, two log chains and three marine batteries. The theft was alleged to have occurred on Thursday, Dec. 19, at about 3 p.m.

When Parsons reported the incident, she said she would bring the video footage to the Sheriff’s department.

The footage did not arrive at the Sheriff’s office until January at which point, Dep. Peak reviewed the case file and video footage.

In an interview with Dep. Peak and in a comment to the press on Monday afternoon, Newby identified himself, Williams and Gallagher as the subjects on Parsons’ video.

According to the case report, Newby stated that he and his stepson had received permission from Steven Parsons, Anita Parsons’ son, to collect junk and metal scrap from the address in question and sell it at Randy’s Recycling Center in downtown Cynthiana.

At the time of the reported incident, however, Steven Parsons was not the property owner. Anita Parsons was the owner.

Furthermore, according to the case report, Steven Parsons denied ever granting permission for any property to be removed. 

In a subsequent interview with Anita and Steven Parsons on Feb. 18, Steven Parsons said he had granted permission to James Gallagher to remove scraps of tin that were lying in the yard. But, again, Anita Parsons asserted that her son did not have authority to grant that permission. Nor was anyone given permission to remove the items listed as stolen, she said.

On Feb. 17, Steven Parsons reported that Newby and Williams came to his residence on Second Street in Berry and returned the Stihl Chainsaw and the two log chains.

The marine batteries are alleged to have been in Gallagher’s possession.

In an interview with Dep. Peak, Newby produced a video recording he had made while at Steve Parson’s residence. The video, the report said, shows Steven Parsons saying that Newby and Williams had permission to remove junk from the residence and that he had agreed to inform his mother.

In a later interview with the deputy, Steven Parsons stated that he had said what he thought Newby wanted to hear because their presence on his property made him “uncomfortable.”

In a Monday afternoon interview, Newby said that it was never his intent to take anything that didn’t belong to him and that the misdemeanor charges stemmed from a misunderstanding.

“We assumed that Steven had the authority to allow us permission to take junk from the property,” Newby said.

Newby said that all three co-defendants had received permission from Steven to remove junk from the Richardson Lane address to be cashed in for recycling.

“I was aware of the surveillance camera they had at their house. It was a bright, sunny day.... it’s not like we were pulling up to intentionally rob these people,” Newby said. “I’ve tried to apologize and just let them know I’m sorry for the misunderstanding.”

Attributing the charges to a series of mistaken assumptions on his part, Newby said that he had hoped to clear up the confusion by returning the chainsaw and log chains.

He also said that he will make full restitution for the marine batteries that were reported stolen.

“I know that she [Mrs. Parsons] has been robbed several times by other people, but that wasn’t our intent,” Newby said.

Newby also stated that he intended to remain in the race for Harrison County jailer. 

According to Dep. Peak, there have been at least three other unrelated cases of theft or burglary on Anita Parson’s property. In each case, suspects have been caught and prosecuted.

 With regard to Newby, Dep. Peak said that the candidate for jailer has no other record of criminal activity except for a speeding citation coupled with failure to wear a seatbelt.