A Kooskia man will spend the next several years in prison for a series of burglary, theft and related crimes committed across three counties late last year.
At a Sept. 25 sentencing hearing, Bruce E. Finnell, Jr., 24, was ordered to serve a minimum of six years and a maximum of 10 on a felony charge of burglary, and four to 12 years on two counts of felony grand theft. These sentences will be served concurrently, in conjunction with two related cases Finnell was sentenced on earlier this summer. In Butte County, Finnell was ordered to serve a 2-to-8 on two burglary charges, and a 2-to-10 for grand theft. In Custer County, Finnell was ordered to serve a 2-to-8 for burglary.
Serving sentences concurrently, Finnell will – all totaled -- serve a minimum six years and a maximum of 12. Along with this, he was ordered to pay $5,991 in fines and court costs, and restitution – so far – of $1,295.38. Additional restitution is to be determined to five other victims associated with these crimes.
Charges resulted from a series of crimes committed from Dec. 28, 2018, to Jan. 6, 2019, starting with a stolen Ford F150 pickup from William Perry of Grangeville, and including a Dec. 31 house fire on Swiftwater Road outside of Lowell. Involved were Finnell, along with Jeremy D. Watson, 39, of Lewiston.
In Butte County, two businesses – Garner’s Lumber and Duke’s Big Dog Tree Service – were burglarized, with stolen items including a Yamaha motorcycle, iPad tablet, cash, credit cards, checks and tools; and a private residence in Custer County was broken into and items stolen. Following, the pair returned to Idaho County where they broke into a Selway Road residence, consumed food and stole belongings.
Following a Jan. 3 report of an unknown person staying at the Selway Road residence, Watson was taken into custody at that location. The following day, Finnell was arrested at a Clear Creek Road residence outside Kooskia.
For his part in these incidents, Watson was sentenced on three counts of burglary – two from Idaho County and one from Custer County – and with sentences being served concurrently, he received 3 to 4 years in prison. However, jurisdiction was retained, and he was placed on a 365-day rider at North Idaho Correctional Institution at Cottonwood, which is set to end in June 2020. At this time, Watson will be recommended to either be placed on parole or to serve his prison sentence.