News and Tribune

October 19, 2012

Rite-Aid robber convicted

Jeffersonville man convicted for robbery, faces up to 20 years in prison

By GARY POPP
gary.popp@newsandtribune.com

JEFFERSONVILLE — A Jeffersonville man was convicted in a Clark County court Wednesday for taking children’s DVDs from Rite Aid at 10th Street and Allison Lane in 2010.

George Alec Nunley, 44, of 825 Sharon Drive, is scheduled to return to the court in November on charges of stealing from a Rite Aid in Sellersburg. During the jury trial earlier this week, Nunley was found guilty of robbery, a class C felony, and habitual offender.

He faces up to 20 years in the Indiana Department of Correction.

After the April 16, 2010, Jeffersonville Rite Aid robbery, Nunley eluded authorities and a warrant for his arrest for months. He was arrested by Sellersburg police when he was suspected of stealing a bottle of Crown Royal from a Rite-Aid in Sellersburg on Sept. 15.

Clark County Deputy Prosecutor Jennifer Harmeyer sought the enhancement of habitual felon during the recent prosecution. A habitual felon charge can be entered by a prosecutor in Indiana if the suspect has previously been convicted of two unrelated felonies.

Nunley was found guilty of the habitual felon charge, as the prosecution presented to the court that Nunley had theft convictions in Clark County in March 1995; July 1999, November 2004; September 2005 and December 2005.

“A lot of [Nunley’s] crimes are petty, which is part of the reason he is not sitting in jail right now,” Harmeyer said. “When crimes are committed over and over, we need to put that person in jail.”

By seeking the habitual offender enhancement, Harmeyer has significantly added to the length of Nunley’s possible sentencing. The robbery charge ranges from two to eight years, with a four-year advisory sentence. The habitual felon charge is up to three times the advisory sentence of the underlying felony charge.

Clark County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said it is a flaw in the criminal justice system that those who repeatedly commit lower-end crimes do not receive serious consequences.

“You are doing society a disservice if you don’t sentence the offenders appropriately,” Mull said. “If you continue to commit crimes, we are going to go after you and try to put you away.”

Mull said it is unfair to law-abiding citizens who spend their days working to earn money when those who choose to cheat the system don’t receive stiff penalties.

“He has shown he is a career criminal,” Mull said of Nunley. “He has been a felony offender for more than a decade.”

Nunley’s sentencing hearing for the Jeffersonville robbery conviction is scheduled for Nov. 8 in Clark County Circuit Court No. 1.

He is scheduled return to the court Nov. 27 for a trial stemming from the Sellersburg charges, which include theft, resisting law enforcement and habitual offender.