Cole County Grand Jury indicts several

The Cole County grand jury recently handed down a number of indictments, finding there was enough evidence to send the cases on to the circuit court level for possible trial.

Among those indicted was a Holts Summit man on two counts of first-degree burglary in connection with break-ins that occurred in Cole County in January 2012.

Cheswick Cheatham, 31, is believed to have been involved in break-ins in the 3800 block of North Teal Bottom Road, near Osage Bend, and in the 100 block of Hidden Valley Road, near Henley. The two homes are about 13 miles apart, over two-lane roads.

The probable cause statement in Cheatham’s case began with a Jan. 10 burglary in the 8300 block of Tanner Bridge Road, where some checks had been stolen.

The checks were reported as being cashed “at various businesses” and authorities eventually traced those cashing the checks to the Evergreen Condo Apartments on Route AA, just northeast of Holts Summit, where the property manager said she had seen Cheswick Cheatham and another man carry two televisions from a van into their neighboring apartments.

Cheswick agreed to let a deputy “check the residence,” leading to the discovery of a 32-inch flat-screen TV in a closet that “matched the description” from one of the burglaries.

Cheatham gave conflicting stories about finding the television, and said it “didn’t even work.”

When asked to plug it in, “Cheatham requested a lawyer and said he had nothing else to say.”

With a warrant, the apartment was searched more thoroughly, turning up three guns and “numerous pieces of property with the serial numbers removed.”

Others indicted by the grand jury included:

• A man who had claimed to be a pastor and arranged for meals, hotel rooms and transportation for himself.

Robert Buck, 48, has no known address and was charged earlier this month with three counts of stealing by deceit and one count each of forgery and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Court documents show the incidents occurred in August.

He contacted three businesses and arranged for payments of food, hotel rooms and transportation to be paid to charge accounts at local churches.

Buck also contacted a business claiming to be part of a civic organization, selling raffle tickets and made a false receipt.

After his arrest, he admitted to the crimes.

• A Holts Summit man is charged with stealing from several Jefferson City businesses by opening a checking account and writing more than $3,600 of checks with no money in the account.

Justin Bruce, 33, is also accused of charging more than $1,200 in merchandise on a businesses charge account, using a false identity and having no authority to make the charges and then trading the property for narcotics.

He is charged with one count of felony theft and three counts of passing bad checks.

Court records show the checks were written between April and May at nine different Jefferson City businesses.

Bruce fled to Missouri from Texas to avoid being arrested and prosecuted on forgery charges there.

• A Jefferson City man is charged with helping to rob a man at gunpoint while he was pumping gas.

Richard McCalip III, 16, 632 Locust St., is charged with first-degree robbery and armed criminal action.

A Jefferson City Police Department probable cause statement shows the incident occurred in June at Break Time, 627 Clark Ave.

As the victim pumped gas, an accomplice with McCalip, not named in court documents, offered to sell the victim drugs.

The victim refused and as he was starting to drive away, McCalip’s accomplice got into the victim’s car while McCalip blocked the driver’s door so the victim couldn’t flee.

McCalip’s accomplice then pulled a handgun, pointed it at the victim and demanded his property.

McCalip and his accomplice got away with $35 and the victim’s iPhone.

McCalip was identified through surveillance footage at Break Time.

• A man charged in August with first-degree arson after an early morning fire at a vacant home at 111 Adams St.

David A. Garceau, 38, Jefferson City, was listed as being homeless in the court documents.

Police reports show that officers patrolling in the downtown area saw a large amount of smoke and began searching for its origin.

The fire started at the back of the building and quickly spread to the front.

Officers located numerous subjects who were squatting in the vacant house and were able to escape the fire.

After interviewing many of the victims, detectives said the fire may have been set by one of the squatters.

A description of a suspect was given to patrol officers, who immediately found Garceau walking in the area and later determined he had started the fire.

• A Jefferson City man charged with two counts of exploiting a minor.

Delaney Thomas, 19, of 2709 Covey Lane, was charged for incidents that occurred this spring.

A Cole County Sheriff’s Department probable cause statement shows the victim’s father told authorities that his juvenile daughter was 14 at the time of the incident.

The father was contacted by Thomas’ ex-girlfriend in regards to finding four videos Thomas had taken without consent of the juvenile and her sister, who was 17 at the time, in various states of nudity.

The victims and their parents met with the ex-girlfriend, who showed them the videos that had been taken through cracks between window coverings in the girls’ bedroom after dark as they undressed.

The ex-girlfriend said Thomas was using an old cellphone of hers and she only recently discovered it was still backing up data to her email account.

The four videos were later found to have been taken in March and April.

Thomas’ ex-girlfriend said she confronted Thomas about the videos, and he said he regretted what he had done and that he had deleted the videos.

The ex-girlfriend said she had given Thomas 24 hours to tell his parents and apologize to the victims, which reportedly he had not done.

A search warrant was served at Thomas’ residence and the phone in question was seized along with several other devices capable of storing media/data.

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