Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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April 29, 2014

2 plead guilty in Martinsburg casket break-ins

MARTINSBURG — Two men each face up to 115 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges stemming from mausoleum break-ins at a Martinsburg cemetery.

Media outlets report that 25-year-old David P. Bowers of Hedgesville and 30-year-old Richard Ruffner of Martinsburg each pleaded guilty on Monday to 23 counts of disinterment of a body and one conspiracy count.

The men’s defense attorneys told Berkeley County Circuit Court Judge Gray Silver III that their clients want to accept responsibility for their actions.

Police said two mausoleums at Rosedale Cemetery were broken into and more than 20 caskets were pried open during two break-ins in 2013.

Bowers told the judge that he and Ruffner went to the cemetery to take jewelry from the bodies of the deceased.

Sentencing is set for July 14.

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