Two W.Va. Men Sentenced in Cemetery Casket Thefts


BERKELEY COUNTY, W.Va. - Two West Virginia men were sentenced Monday to 26 years each in prison, after stealing from more than 20 caskets at a Martinsburg cemetery last summer. 

"It's a heinous crime. I can't imagine anybody else going through this like we did," said Rick Curry, who's mother's mausoleum was broken into.

David Paul Bowers, 24, of Hedgesville, W.Va., and Richard Rowland Ruffner, 30, of Martinsburg, W.Va., plead guilty to all 24 felony counts against them on April 28 in Berkeley County Circuit Court. Charges included destruction of property and displacement of a body.

Both men took the stand and apologized to their family members who were present, as well as family members of the victims. They also mentioned their addiction to heroin played a role in the incident, and that they weren't the same person when they committed the crimes.

As we've reported, Bowers and Ruffner broke into the mausoleums in July 2013 at the Rosedale Cemetery, where police say they and another person, identified as Erick Arthur, stole jewelry from the bodies. 

Court records indicate the jewelry was taken to the Martinsburg Mall to exchange at a cash-for-gold business. 

Family members of the victims said that it's not just them that have been affected.

"Even though the prosecution mentioned 23 victims, there's hundreds of victims," said Argina Layne, Curry's sister. "All of the family members of those 23 crypts that were broken open, and whatever was done to them afterwards. Nobody wins in this scenario."

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