Wednesday, September 3, 2003

Ex-TV reporter in Bowling Green gets prison for hiding stolen cash

The Associated Press

PADUCAH - A former Bowling Green television reporter was sentenced Tuesday to a year in prison for receiving more than $78,000 in stolen cash his roommate took from a Paducah bank in January.

James Burress, 24, a former reporter and anchor for WBKO-TV in Bowling Green, was also ordered to serve two years of supervised release after he gets out of prison.

Burress hid the money in the house he shared with his roommate, Mark Boothby, prosecutors said.

Boothby, 24, pleaded guilty in April to stealing $78,780 from a Union Planters Bank in Paducah on Jan. 16.

Burress was found guilty of receiving, possessing, concealing and disposing of the money after a trial, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney's office in Louisville.

Senior Judge Edward H. Johnstone ordered Boothby to serve the same sentence as Burress, one year and one day in prison, along with two years of supervised release.

Burress was fired from WBKO-TV about a month after he was charged, in February 2003. He had been with the station about 18 months.

Police said Burress left work at the station the day after the robbery to move the money from the attic into the garage, federal prosecutors said.

Later that day, FBI agents found $77,000 in the garage.

Burress had argued that Boothby told him the money was from gambling winnings.

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