Over an 29-month period from 2015 to 2017, Leslie Rone committed property crimes — against people she knew including a law enforcement family, against her neighbors, against her employer and even against her sister, according to testimony Thursday in 35th District Court.
Rone, 35, of Brownwood, pleaded guilty to six felony charges: four for burglary of a habitation, one for theft and one for theft of a firearm.
District Judge Steve Ellis heard testimony Thursday from prosecution and defense witnesses in a punishment hearing that will continue through Friday.
Defense attorneys Patrick Howard and Jason Johnson seemed through their questioning of witnesses to be preparing to seek probation for Rone. Some of the victims of her crimes, answering questions from prosecutor Elisha Bird, said said they believe prison time would be appropriate.
Rone’s lawyers have sought to establish, through cross examination of state’s witnesses and questioning of defense witnesses, that Rone’s troubles with the law began when she returned from a military deployment to Afghanistan and became addicted to pain medication for which she was prescribed.
Before her pain pill addiction, Rone had been an outgoing person and a good mother to her teenage daughter who did not commit crimes, according to testimony.
After spending several months in the Brown County Jail, Rone has bonded out and is getting back to her previous self, off pills and working full time at Burger King, testimony showed.
Several victims of her crimes said they had valued and trusted Rone and had been shocked and upset to learn she had stolen from them. A neighbor testified to coming home and holding her at gunpoint when he caught her coming the back door of his home.
According to the six indictments to which Rone pleaded guilty:
• Theft — aggregated. From June 2015 to September 2015, Rone, while working as a cashier at a convenience store, stole about $3,900 from her employer.
• Burglary of a habitation — In January 2017, Rone entered a home and took a firearm.
• Theft of firearm — In March 2017, Rone stole a firearm from the home of her sister, who did not want to prosecute.
• Burglary of a habitation — in May 2017, Rone entered a home and took a firearm.
• Burglary of a habitation — in November 2017, Rone entered a habitation and took medication.
• Burglary of a habitation — in November 2017, Rone entered a home and took medication and jewelry.