UPDATE: Man Accused of Victimizing Elderly Learns Fate

By: Jeremy Edwards, Michael Hyland, Sarah Sager Email
By: Jeremy Edwards, Michael Hyland, Sarah Sager Email

UPDATE 8/2/12 @ 3 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A career criminal is going back to jail.

Gary Mullins was sentenced Thursday in Charleston to 25 years in prison.

He was convicted earlier this year of kidnapping and stealing thousands of dollars from 84 -year-old George Jacobs.

The elderly man died the day after he testified against Mullins' during the trial back in February.

Mullins is also facing charges after police say he broke into several homes on Woodbridge Road last year and an apartment on the west side.

Jacobs' family spoke out Thursday saying Mullins made their father's life miserable.

UPDATE 2/7/12 @ 6:30 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A jury on Tuesday found Gary Wayne Mullins guilty of kidnapping an elderly man last year.

Prosecutors tell WSAZ.com the conviction carried 20 to 50 years in jail.

Mullins was found not guilty of robbery or obtaining under false pretenses.

The victim, George Jacobs, testified Monday. On Tuesday, members of the courtroom learned Jacobs had passed away.

“Well, I didn't think I should call the police. I didn't think I was that weak, but apparently I am," Jacobs had said during testimony.

On Monday, he recounted the series of events that led to the kidnapping on Jan. 11, 2011.

"I was trying to park my car, and I had to back it up and everything, so I got out. When I got back in this guy was sitting up front," Jacobs said.

The man Jacobs was speaking of is Gary Mullins. George and his son Pat first told WSAZ.com about what had happened with Mullins in an in-depth interview in the summer of 2011.

"It’s a very sad day and a happy day all together. But it is a very sad day. I wish he could have been here to see that justice was served for him," Assistant Kanawha County Prosecutor Erica Lord said.

Thanks to Jacobs' testimony, and final measure, prosecutors hope Mullins will not be able to victimize anyone else again.

"I never could sleep until that I was sure that I was safe away from him," Jacobs said.

We've reached out to Jacobs’ family for a statement, but have yet to be able to reach them.

Mullins is expected back in court Feb. 21. More than 10 victims are expected to testify.

UPDATE 2/7/12 @ 2:30 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- After a few hours of deliberations, the jury found the man accused of victimizing potentially hundreds of elderly people guilty of kidnapping in a case that happened last year.

Gary Mullins went on trial Monday in a case where an 84-year-old man claimed he was forced to give Mullins money during an incident last January.

The jury found Mullins guilty of kidnapping. He now faces 20-50 years in prison.

However, the jury found him not guilty of robbery and obtaining by false pretenses. It only took less than 3 hours for the jury to return the verdict.

Last year prosecutors say George Jacobs, 84, of Charleston, was trying to get groceries in Kanawha City when Mullins got into his car. It's a problem that continued for months. During testimony, Jacobs said he was intimidated by Mullins for months to give him thousands of dollars.

Jacobs testified Monday, but during Tuesday's testimony Detective Nolan with the Charleston Police Department told the court that Mr. Jacobs was found dead in his home Tuesday morning. The cause of his death is unknown at this time.

Mullins did not testify during the trial.

WSAZ.com has reached out to Jacobs' family for comment, but hasn't heard back yet.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

UPDATE 2/7/12 @ 1:35 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The victim who testified against a Kanawha County man who is accused of victimizing hundreds of elderly people has died just hours after he took the stand.

George Jacobs, 84, testified during Gary Mullins Monday during his trial.

Detective Nolan with the Charleston Police Department told the court on Tuesday that Mr. Jacobs was found dead in his home Tuesday morning. The cause of his death is unknown at this time.

Jacobs testified on Monday he was intimidated by Mullins for months to give him thousands of dollars.

Last January, Jacobs says he was trying to get some groceries in Kanawha City, but instead wound up with Gary Mullins in his car. It's a problem that continued for months.

"I just didn't feel like I should call the police. I didn't think I was that weak, but apparently I am," Jacobs said.

Mullins' defense says Jacobs willingly gave him the money. But another victim, Mary, says that explanation isn’t right.

The jury began deliberating Tuesday morning.

We have a crew in the courtroom. Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest.

UPDATE 2/6/12 @ 6:30 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- He's accused of victimizing hundreds of elderly people, but Gary Mullins was out of jail and in a courtroom Monday.

George Jacobs, 84, took the stand in a Kanawha County courtroom, saying he was intimidated by Mullins for months to give him thousands of dollars. Although Jacobs was the only victim to take the stand, he wasn't the only one in the room.

"Today, you'll hear evidence of a conman who preys on the elderly," assistant prosecutor Joey Spano said.

"No kidnapper or robber even went into a bank with his victim and, a month after the fact, has a notarized statement signed promising to pay back the money he stole," defense attorney J. Sullivan said.

Last January, Jacobs says he was trying to get some groceries in Kanawha City, but instead wound up with Gary Mullins in his car. It's a problem that continued for months.

"I just didn't feel like I should call the police. I didn't think I was that weak, but apparently I am," Jacobs said.

Mullins' defense says Jacobs willingly gave him the money. But another victim, Mary, says that explanation isn’t right.

Mary’s last name has been omitted to protect her identity.

"I’m interested in getting him off the street so he doesn't take other people like he did us," Mary said.

Mary says she's ashamed about what happened.

"It's embarrassing because we consider ourselves pretty alert for our age. It does make me angry that he took me," Mary said.

Monday, Mary was in court to watch Mullins face what he’d done; and support another victim.

"I didn’t tell anyone in my family because I guess I was ashamed," Jacobs said.

The trial is expected to continue at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

UPDATE 1/4/12 @ 6:30 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A claim of innocence led many people to speak out in a case that's impacted elderly people across the Kanawha Valley.

In the past year, Gary Mullins has been charged with kidnapping, robbery and burglary. Charleston Police say the number of people he's victimized is staggering

In an exclusive interview from jail, Mullins spoke Tuesday with WSAZ.com, saying he's innocent.

"I’ve never harmed nobody. I’ve never harmed an elderly person in my life. I’ve borrowed money in my life, but is it against the law to borrow money?" Mullins said.

Dale Spicer says Mullins took money from him. He thought he was doing a former employee or tenant a favor. Instead he fell into a trap, and the culprit he says is Gary Mullins.

"He walked directly up to my table, pointed his finger and said, 'How do you spell your last name?' " Spicer said.

Spicer was at the physical therapist's office when he says Mullins told him a story about a broken heater and convinced him they knew each other.

"I said, 'I'm sorry there's just so many. Did you work for me or did you rent from me'? He said, 'You know who I am.' I said, 'OK, When I'm done here, follow me to the office,' " Spicer said.

So they went back to his office, and Spicer gave Mullins some cash.

"He said if I get two of them I'd be better off, if I can get $400. He said I'd take a thousand if I could get it," Spicer said.

Spicer says Mullins, under the fake name Steve Smith, promised he'd return the money Wednesday, but never returned.

Charleston Police Detective Steve Cooper has heard Spicer’s story. It's one of dozens, maybe more.

"There have been days where he's victimized five, six, seven people. It's disturbing when this type of crime occurs. And it's disturbing the number of times that it's happened," Cooper said.

Mullins maintains he’s innocent.
"I did borrow money, if that's a crime," Mullins said.

“There are people he's hurt financially and otherwise. They'll never get over it," Spicer said.

Spicer has been subpoenaed several times to testify against Mullins in court. So far, those court dates have been canceled. Spicer says he plans to testify.

Mullins' next court date is scheduled for Feb. 9.

UPDATE 1/3/12 @ 5:30 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- In the past year, Gary Mullins has been accused of several crimes. In an interview from jail, though, he says he’s innocent.

Gary Mullins says he's simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Since November he’s been in jail, accused of breaking into an apartment. But that isn’t the only crime he’s been accused of in the last year.

In December of 2011, Mullins wrote WSAZ a five page letter, claiming his innocence.

"This is the first time I've ever gotten to tell my side of the story," Mullins said.

He’s accused of stealing from the elderly several times.

"I’ve never harmed an elderly person in my life," Mullins said.

In January of 2011, Mullins kidnapped and robbed George Jacobs. Police believe he continued to steal from the 84-year old for months.

“No, I did not kidnap or steal from Mr. Jacobs. He loaned me some money and helped me with a vehicle. We had a friendship," Mullins said.

But the friendship, according to George, was one sided.

"He's just telling me he's got to have the money or else. And then he's more or less looking me at me and threatening me," Jacobs said.

However, Mullins believes he's the one that's been done wrong.

"I didn't burglarize nobody. If there was anything burglarized -- they took $1,200 from me, took my truck, took me from my daughter at Christmas and New Years," Mullins said.

Mullins claims he was only trying to sublease a U-Haul in November when he was arrested for breaking into an apartment.

"I’m not claiming to be anything 100 percent innocent. I was at the wrong place at the wrong time. I should have never tried to sublease no U-Haul, but I never burglarized nobody." Mullins said.

Those are words he plans to share with a jury until his name is cleared.

"I think the truth will set me free," Mullins said.

Mullins is expected to be back in court at 9 a.m. Feb. 6.

UPDATE 11/7/11 @ 1:12 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The charges continue to pile up against a man from Charleston.

Gary Mullins was arrested Sunday after police say he broke into an apartment on Washington Street west.

Charleston Police say they found him outside of the apartment.

According to the criminal complaint, Mullins had pills that did not belong to him and almost $1,200.

Mullins was out of jail on bond in connection with two separate cases.

He is accused of kidnapping and robbing an elderly man from Kanawha City.

Police say he also was impersonating a delivery driver and stealing money from elderly people in the Honey Hills area of Charleston.

UPDATE 8/29/11 @ 11:15 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man police say has a long history of crimes against the elderly is now facing more charges, as an 84-year-old man has come forward saying he was robbed earlier this year.

Police say it wasn't enough for Gary Mullins to steal $2,000 from George Jacobs, he kept coming back for more -- even from behind bars.

Jacobs’ family members say the worst part of this whole situation is months went by with Jacobs saying nothing either to them or to police.

They're worried there are other victims out there who haven't spoken up.

"(Mullins) was just telling me that he's got to have the money or else. And, he's more or less looking mean at me and threatening me," George Jacobs says.

It all started in January, when Jacobs went to the Kanawha City Kroger.

That's when police say Mullins forced Jacobs to give him $2,000. Mullins hopped into Jacobs’ car and told him to go to his house to get it.

"I was saving this money. It's all the money I had right then. And, I didn't know what to do," Jacobs says.

Jacobs says he only had $1,800 of the requested $2,000 at his house. So, he says Mullins forced him to drive to a bank to get the remaining $200 he wanted.

When it was over, Jacobs says he was too afraid to call the police or tell his family, and Mullins kept coming back for more.

"Little by little, he was getting me," Jacobs says.

Police arrested Mullins on unrelated charges in April after a series of burglaries.

"They definitely got the wrong guy. I didn't break into anybody's house," Mullins said at the time.

Police also arrested him a few years earlier when they say he targeted the elderly.

But, in this most recent robbery case, nobody knew what was going on with Jacobs until very recently when police say Mullins tried to contact him for bail money.

"I would have never known about if it hadn't been for that because my dad is elderly,” says Jacobs’ son Pat. “This guy preys on elderly people because he knows they have confusion and are easy prey."

Pat Jacobs worries his dad's not the only victim to stay silent.
"Here I am, I talk to my dad everyday. I live within a mile of him. I see him two, three, four times a week. And, all of this was going on right under my nose," he says.

Pat Jacobs' dad adds, "It looks like this time, they've got him. And, maybe they'll stop him. That's all I can do is hope."

Police charged Mullins with second-degree robbery.

Mullins was supposed to go on trial Monday for crimes unrelated to this robbery, but that's been delayed until November.

His public defender says Mullins isn’t cooperating and doesn't want to work with him anymore.

UPDATE 8/27/11 @ 11:45 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man police say has a long history of crimes against the elderly is now facing more charges.

Charleston Police say Gary Mullins was charged with kidnapping and robbery Friday.

That was after Officers say Mullins got into an 84-year-old man's car in the Kroger parking lot in Kanawha City, and demanded money.

Mullins is set to go on trial this Monday for separate incidents also involving crimes against the elderly.

UPDATE 4/19/2011 @ 10:15 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Despite a long criminal history and yet another arrest, the man accused says police have the wrong guy.

Gary Wayne Mullins, of Dunbar, is back behind bars and accused of targeting the elderly.

"I loaned my truck out. Somebody must have been in my truck. I don't know what's going on here," Mullins told WSAZ.com after his arrest Tuesday.

Charleston resident Joe Skaff says his dog woke him up Saturday morning.

He followed a trail of wet footprints into his garage and says he saw Mullins pull out of the driveway and leave. Skaff says he wasn't empty-handed.

Skaff says Mullins got away with a wallet, cash and credit cards.

"Like last night, I was out working in the lawn when the kids were going to bed. And they yell out the window, 'Make sure all the doors are locked really good,' " Skaff says.

Mullins, who faces a felony burglary charge, insists he wasn’t the man inside Skaff’s home.

"They definitely got the wrong guy," he says. "I didn't break into nobody's house."

Police say, in most cases, Mullins actually has not broken into homes. Instead, Skaff's neighbors say he'd been going to several homes in the Woodbridge subdivision, trying to intimidate seniors into giving him cash or prescription medication.

“They're very vulnerable, given that he catches them off guard. He targets them specifically due to their age," Charleston Police Lt. S.A. Cooper says. "It's how he makes his living. It's very dishonest, and it's very intimidating and upsetting for the victims."

And, police say it's been happening for years.

In 2005, Steve Fesenmaier came home to find his wife talking to Mullins.

"One reason why I retired a little bit early is because I'm here so my wife won't feel threatened all the time," Fesenmaier says.

A magistrate set Mullins' bond at $50,000 cash only. He's due in court again April 27. If found guilty of the burglary charge, he faces one to 15 years in prison.

UPDATE 4/19/2011 @ 4 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- After years of being on the run, police have caught up with Gary Wayne Mullins.

He was arrested Tuesday afternoon by Charleston Police.

The arrest comes just hours after police held a press, seeking information about Mullins whereabouts.

He's wanted in connection with a recent break-in in Charleston. Over the years, Mullins is also accused of targeting the elderly in an attempt to get cash, check books, credit cards and prescription medications.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man with a long history of targeting elderly people and their money in the Kanawha Valley is on the most wanted list again.

Charleston Police say they are searching for Gary Mullins.

Investigators have filed a warrant for Mullins after he allegedly broke into a house on Honey Hills Drive.

Police say he is also targeting elderly people and allegedly going door to door, impersonating a delivery driver.

Once he gets inside the home, he demands money or prescription pills.

Mullins has been arrested several times over the past couple of years in connection with similar schemes in Charleston, South Charleston and Dunbar.

If you know where Mullins is you are asked to call Charleston Police.

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