Plotnick pleads guilty, claims co-defendants had ‘nothing to do with this’
A Whitley County man pleaded guilty Friday to burglarizing a Williamsburg home in 2018 and received a 15-year prison sentence as part of his plea agreement, and told the judge during the sentencing portion of his hearing that his co-defendants in the case had nothing to do with the crime.
Samuel E. Plotnick, 42, pleaded guilty to amend charges of second-degree burglary, second-degree fleeing or evading police and to being a second-degree persistent felony offender in exchange for prosecutors recommending a total prison sentence of 15 years in prison, and dismissing a receiving stolen property and convicted felon in possession of a handgun charge against him.
Plotnick, Courtney Willhite, 35, and Cara Lawson, 29, were all originally indicted on one count of first-degree robbery in the case. Plotnick’s robbery charge was amended as part of his plea agreement to second-degree burglary.
“They had nothing, and I mean nothing, to do with this,” Plotnick told Judge Dan Ballou about his co-defendants in the case. “They just got caught up in it.”
Lawson pleaded guilty Friday to an amended charge of facilitation to commit second-degree burglary, and received a 12-month jail sentence that will be conditionally discharged for two years.
Willhite pled guilty in Whitley Circuit Court Friday to an amended charge of facilitation to commit second-degree burglary, and prosecutors also recommended a 12-month jail sentence in her case that will be conditionally discharged for two years.
Ballou scheduled a Sept. 10 sentencing hearing in her case.
As part of their plea deals, other charges in this case were dismissed against Lawson and Willhite.
The case in question involved an alleged home invasion that occurred at Robbie Monhollen’s South Second Street residence on May 7, 2018.
The victim reported that Plotnick had forced his way into the home and into the kitchen.
“The victim was familiar with Plotnick,” said Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird when asked how Monhollen identified him as one of the perpetrators.
Once in the kitchen, Bird said Plotnick allegedly got his hands on the pistol, which was lying on the counter and held it to the head of one of the residents.
“He then threatened to shoot the other resident,” Bird said.
Plotnick then fled the scene with the weapon, jumping into a waiting SUV.
The residents were able to provide police with a description of the vehicle and Sergeant Brandon White initiated a traffic stop on it a short time later.
Bird said Plotnick, who was a passenger in the vehicle, held police at bay for several minutes before exiting the vehicle.
“He was extremely high on meth and tried to fight with the officers,” Bird said of Plotnick adding that officers used their tasers in an attempt to subdue him.
However, Plotnick was able to flee the scene and elude officers.
Officers located Willhite and Lawson inside the vehicle and took them into custody.
Police recovered the gun from inside the vehicle.
Police arrested Plotnick on May 10, 2018, in the Savoy community after receiving a call concerning his whereabouts from a business in the area.
“He went to the business and told them to call police. He was sitting on the porch waiting when I got there about 8 a.m.,” Bird said adding that Plotnick told him after three days of running and hiding in the woods along the river without food, he couldn’t run anymore.
“He still had the taser probe stuck in his chest,” Bird said of Plotnick.