Woman pleads guilty to acting as UNITE officer
by ALEX SMITH
PRESTONSBURG — A Teaberry woman who handcuffed and robbed an elderly man at his home after he allowed her into his home thinking she was an officer working for Operation UNITE, pleaded guilty to impersonating a peace officer Wednesday and will serve 10 years in prison.
Evelyn Delynn Hall, 30, also pleaded guilty in an unrelated case to five felony forgery charges and a misdemeanor theft charge after using a friend's stolen checkbook to cash fraudulent checks in Stanville.
The robbery case occurred July 16, when Hall used a fake badge, which was later found to be nothing more than a black wallet with an honorary Fraternal Order of Police badge slid into a slot for pictures inside, to enter the home of Herman Johnson, saying she was there as part of a drug raid for illegal prescription drugs.
Hall handcuffed Johnson's hands behind his back and searched his home for over an hour, taking with her eight guns, $360 and several prescription pill bottles. When Hall was leaving to load the items into her car, she told Johnson that her partner was waiting outside for the local police to arrive and to remain seated until they arrived.
As Hall walked out the door, Johnson's daughter was coming in. Hall told her the same story and Johnson's daughter, having no reason not to believe that Hall was who she said she was, helped her load the items into Hall's car.
Johnson and his daughter waited for the police to arrive for several hours before finally contacting the state police, who arrived and called the local fire department to come and cut the handcuffs off of Johnson.
An officer for UNITE began investigating the incident and received a tip that Hall had apparently been telling people she worked for the agency. The officer acquired a photograph of Hall from the caller, and was able to begin searching for her after confirming with Johnson that Hall was the one who had robbed him.
On July 19, a second complaint was received from a couple who reported that a woman claiming to be an officer for UNITE had tried to gain access to their home, but they turned her away and called the police. The investigator arrived at the couple's home the same day and was able to confirm Hall was the woman who had tried to rob them. Hall's car was found parked near the couple's residence and Hall was located and arrested later that day. A search of her vehicle turned up the black wallet and badge used to gain entry to Johnson's residence, as well as a matching pair of handcuffs and over $600.
"Obviously it's a very unusual case, but it's very serious what she did here, particularly with the elderly victim who was handcuffed," said Commonwealth's Attorney Brent Turner. "Obviously he was traumatized, and someone could have really been hurt."
Hall will be sentenced in both cases on March 2. She agreed to five years each on five counts of forgery and 12 months for a theft charge, all of which will run concurrent with one another and concurrent with the plea agreement in the robbery case. Hall agreed to a plea of five years in prison for three counts or impersonating a peace officer and the unlawful imprisonment of Herman Johnson, and a 10-year sentence for second-degree robbery.
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