Edmond Assisted Living Director Charged with Burglary

The former director of assisted living for an Oklahoma retirement center has been accused of stealing from an elderly resident of the facility. Jennifer Kennedy Lases, 40, of Yukon, is accused of taking a credit card and $600 from the purse of a patient during a fire drill at Copper Lakes Estates in Edmond.

The victim's daughter notified police about the missing cash and credit card in September, and Lases was fired after an investigation identified her as the person charging more than $300 on the victim's credit card to purchase gift cards at a local pharmacy. Lases had worked as director of assisted living at the retirement center for a year.

Jennifer Lases was charged last week in Oklahoma County District Court with second degree burglary and exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult. Lases has denied the allegations.

Oklahoma law defines two types of felony burglary. First Degree Burglary (Okla. Stat. tit. 21, § 1431) - breaking into an occupied home with the intention of committing a crime: Every person who breaks into and enters the dwelling house of another, in which there is at the time some human being, with intent to commit some crime therein, either:

  1. By forcibly bursting or breaking the wall, or an outer door, window, or shutter of a window of such house or the lock or bolts of such door, or the fastening of such window or shutter; or
  2. By breaking in any other manner, being armed with a dangerous weapon or being assisted or aided by one or more confederates then actually present; or
  3. By unlocking an outer door by means of false keys or by picking the lock thereof, or by lifting a latch or opening a window, is guilty of burglary in the first degree.
Second Degree Burglary (Okla. Stat. tit. 21, § 1435) - breaking into a building, vehicle, vending machine, or other structure with the intent to steal or commit a felony: Every person who breaks and enters any building or any part of any building, room, booth, tent, railroad car, automobile, truck, trailer, vessel or other structure or erection, in which any property is kept, or breaks into or forcibly opens, any coin operated or vending machine or device with intent to steal any property therein or to commit any felony, is guilty of burglary in the second degree.

Penalties for first degree burglary and second degree burglary are severe.  Burglary in the first degree is punishable by a prison term of between seven and twenty years in the state penitentiary.  Burglary in the second degree is punishable by a prison sentence ranging from two to seven years.  If you have been accused of burglary, it is imperative to find skillful defense representation.  Visit Phillips & Associates to find an attorney equipped to handle your defense.