Duo charged with violating, stealing from graves

A Belfry duo was arrested on June 10 after Kentucky State Police said they found evidence that they were involved in thefts from graves at a local cemetery, including from the grave of a fallen Kentucky State Police trooper.

According to court documents, Kristie Bentley, 43, and Douglas Gooslin, 55, were observed stealing several items from multiple graves at Mountain View Memorial Gardens in Huddy.

Upon making contact with Bentley and Gooslin at their Pinson Road, Belfry, residence on June 10, the citation said, Kentucky State Police found and recovered more than $2,000 worth of gravesite decorations. The recovered items had been stolen from the graves of fallen Trooper Jonathan Leonard, his mother, Karen Leonard, and Tyler Williams over a period of approximately three years, the citation said.

During the thefts, court documents said, Bentley and Gooslin damaged both property at the cemetery and the gravesites.

Bentley was lodged in the Pike County Detention Center on charges of violating graves, second-degree desecration of venerated objects, first-degree criminal mischief, theft and failure to appear in court. Gooslin was lodged in the jail on charges of violating graves, theft, first-degree criminal mischief and second-degree desecration of venerated objects.

Both were scheduled to be arraigned in Pike District Court on June 11, and a preliminary hearing in the case is set for June 17.

The case remains under investigation by KSP.