A burglar of a remote Lebanon home was sentenced Wednesday to nine years with the Indiana Department of Correction, but a drug addiction program may shorten his sentence.
Boone Superior Court I Judge Pro Tem John Baker stipulated that three years of Dustin G. Rusher’s sentence be executed and six be suspended. Rusher is to serve three years of probation following his prison time. But Baker also recommended purposeful incarceration, and that could change the fine print of his sentence.
Purposeful incarceration offers an offender a chance to have his or her sentence modified if they successfully complete an addiction recovery program.
Rusher, 38, pleaded guilty to burglary, a level 4 felony. He was one of three Anderson men charged with burglary after a woman returned home from shopping March 10, 2022 and found a U-Haul truck full of her belongings parked in her driveway.
Authorities found the trio thumping around in the woman’s house, according to a probable cause affidavit. They had come with crow bars and bolt cutters and were all wearing gloves, Boone County Sheriff’s Deputies Nicholas Zuranski and Chris Ridgeway reported.
Ridgeway heard thumping in the house and entered to find Rusher, who claimed he was cleaning the house out for a man who bought it, according to court records.
The woman found some of her belongings scattered about and broken and her mail bagged by the front door, according to the affidavit. Police searched the trio and found collectible and foreign coins belonging to the woman and her father, and they found additional property belonging to her in the truck, according to the affidavit.
Tylor Lowers, 38, and William Keatts, 43, told police they thought Rusher was buying the home and they were helping him clean it, police reported. Both were charged with burglary and residential entry.
The other two men told police Rusher rented the truck and asked Lowers to drive because he was the only one of the three with a valid license, court records indicate.
Keatts pleaded guilty to burglary in June and was sentenced to four years with the DOC, all of them to be executed. But the court also recommended purposeful incarceration for Keatts. Lowers is scheduled for an April bench trial.
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