Last of three defendants sentenced for robbing Cherokee elder

by Aug 16, 2018NEWS ka-no-he-da


ASHEVILLE – Kasey Lynn Keffer, 40, of Sylva, was sentenced on Thursday, Aug. 16 to 100 months in prison and three years of supervised release on robbery charges, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Keffer’s co-defendants, Mitchum Scott Turpin and Tillmon Gene Fortner, were previously sentenced to 120 and 78 months in prison, respectively, for their involvement in the robbery.

According to court documents and court proceedings, on Oct. 29, 2017, the three co-defendants met at Keffer’s residence in Sylva and discussed being short of money. Keffer identified the victim, a 72-year-old male and an EBCI tribal member, as someone who had money. Later the same day, Keffer drove Turpin and Fortner to the victim’s apartment, located within the Indian reservation in Cherokee.

Turpin, followed by Fortner, entered the victim’s apartment, where Turpin pointed a pistol at the victim and robbed him of $762. Turpin then ordered the victim into a closet. Keffer, Turpin, and Fortner fled the scene in Keffer’s vehicle and were apprehended shortly thereafter. Court records show that law enforcement later determined Turpin’s pistol to be a pellet gun.

All three defendants previously pleaded guilty to robbery charges. They are currently in custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Murray thanked the Cherokee Indian Police Department for their investigation of the case and the Maggie Valley Police Department for their assistance. Chief Doug Pheasant, of the Cherokee Indian Police Department, joined U.S. Attorney Murray in making the announcement.

Special Assistant United States Attorney Justin Eason, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville, prosecuted the case.

– Department of Justice