Jury finds Mayberrys guilty of felonies

Anthoney E. Mayberry, 41, and John J. Mayberry, 37, were both found guilty of Attempted Theft, Class D Felony, by a Ripley Superior Court Jury on May 18. After a three day trial, the jury found that the brothers tried to steal a Volkswagen dune buggy from Nathaniel Moore's property located outside of Osgood on 425 North. Anthoney Mayberry was represented by Mark Dove, Attorney at Law, North Vernon, and John Mayberry was represented by Bruce MacTavish, Attorney at Law, Brownstown. The state's case was presented by Chief Deputy Prosecutor Ryan J. King.

The jury heard from officers from the Indiana State Police, Ripley County Sheriff's Department, and the Osgood Police Department. The jury also heard from Moore's neighbor, who had brought the attempted theft to attention of law enforcement by calling the State Police in the late evening of March 25, 2006. The neighbor reported that a small pickup had just dropped people off at Moore's property and she knew that they shouldn't be there. The officers testified that when they arrived Anthoney and John Mayberry were hiding and continued to do so until apprehended. Trooper Ben Bastin and Sheriff's Deputy Steve Sullivan testified that Anthoney told them he was "alone". The apprehension of John proved this statement was false. State Police Sgt. Terry Nickell testified that while the brothers were being taken into custody a Ford Ranger pulled up to the entrance of the Moore property. Sgt. Nickell stated that he was the first officer to speak with the driver of the vehicle, who turned out to be Terri Mayberry, wife of John Mayberry. While Terri was being investigated for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, the officers found a large log chain in the bed of the truck.

On the second day of trial the jury heard from Rob Ewing, Crime Scene Investigator from the Indiana State Police. Ewing told of how he took pictures of the scene, as well as made plaster casts of shoe prints found at the scene. Ewing also diagramed how Anthoney and John Mayberry pushed the dune buggy from behind the garage into the driveway. Richard Hammer, Comparisons Expert, then testified that the shoe casts taken by Ewing matched the shoes worn by John Mayberry in size, shape and design. The state's last piece of evidence was a taped interview of Terri Mayberry, which was recorded the night of the attempted theft. On the tape Terri admits to Trooper James Wells that she had dropped Anthony and John off at the Moore property. According to the taped interview with Terri, the brothers had been talking about building a "trike" and she was supposed to drop them off and then return for them later. Unfortunately for the Mayberrys, when she returned the police were in the middle of an attempted theft investigation.

On the third and final day of trial the jury was taken to the scene of the crime. The jury observed the Moore property, as well as the proximity of the Moore property to the reporting neighbor's home. The jurors saw where the dune buggy had originally sat and where it was found after the Mayberrys were caught in the process of stealing it.

John Mayberry took the stand and in his own defense. John told the jury that he had gotten into a fight with his wife and she had made him and his brother Anthoney walk home. John said that while they were walking home they saw the dune buggy and just wanted to look at it; just in case there was something that they could return to buy later. On cross examination, King pointed out that Anthony and John could have looked at the dune buggy where they had originally found it and that there was no reason to move it, unless their intent was to steal it. After John testified, the defense rested its case without calling Anthoney Mayberry to the stand.

The jury deliberated for approximately two hours before finding the brothers guilty. Jefferson County records indicate that Anthoney Mayberry was previously convicted of Criminal Conversion of Property for taking merchandise from Wal-Mart in Madison. After the guilty verdicts were read, King asked that the felons be remanded into the custody of the Ripley County Sheriff while awaiting sentencing. This request was denied by Superior Court Judge James B. Morris. Sentencing is now set for June 18 at 1:00 p.m.