Habitual burglar facing 32 years in prison

A year ago, a Greenwood man entered a home on Kay Drive, off of Smith Valley Road, intending to steal from the residence when the homeowner found him inside.

She called the police and trapped the man inside her home until officers arrived.

Officials with the Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office are working to make sure that was the last time the man convicted of the crime is able to burglarize a home in the county.

Brian Wynne, 51, was convicted after a three-day jury trial for burglary and being a habitual offender, which means he has committed at least five unrelated felonies in the past.

“For the first time in my trial career, I was able to use the fact that he had a prior conviction of burglary (in the county),” Johnson County deputy prosecuting attorney Robert Seet said.

After more than 25 years of stealing electronics from homes, taking valuable cars from garages and beating people up, Wynne is facing up to 32 years in prison for his continuous criminal activity, according to court records.

He has been arrested and charged more than 20 times in Johnson and Marion counties and is set to be sentenced — again — next month.

If he had served the full sentence every time he was convicted of stealing a car, burglarizing a home or committing another crime, he would have spent more than 60 years in prison.

But throughout his life, Wynne has served about 24 years, with his time behind bars ranging from three months to nearly five years for each offense.

Wynne has three other pending cases in Johnson County for three counts of burglary, one charge of theft and one charge of resisting law enforcement.

If Wynne is sentenced with the full charge of burglary and being a habitual offender in Johnson County in November, Wynne will not get out of jail until he is 83 years old.

“We thought it was important to send a message that if you’re messing around in Johnson County, you are going to prison,” Seet said.

Wynne, 212 Westridge Blvd., refused an interview this week. One of Wynne’s lawyers, Peter Nugent, had no comment while his other lawyer, James MacAbee, could not be reached.

Wynne’s criminal activity started in 1989 when he was 25 years old, court records show, when he was arrested and charged with battery. Through the decades, Wynne has been arrested on a charge of burglary nearly 10 times, auto theft or receiving stolen auto parts four times and battery twice. He also was arrested for forgery, escape and resisting law enforcement, records show.

“Burglary reasonably seems to be his thing,” Seet said.

The burglaries he has been charged with committing have similarities, according to probable cause affidavits.

He drives a large white van around cities and claims to be measuring flooring or carpet so he can install new floors. Last year, a Greenwood resident caught Wynne in the act and locked him inside the home until the police arrived.

Similarly, back in 2007, Wynne pried open a back door of a home in the Center Grove area and yelled out that he was measuring the floors to see if anyone would respond. To his surprise, the homeowner yelled back, “Who’s there?”

Wynne ran out of the home and crashed into a trash can while trying to pull out of the driveway, the court documents said.

Wynne and two other people were pulled over by a sheriff’s deputy minutes later, according to court documents.

Although Wynne was caught multiple times by police officers, he is a smart man who worked as a paralegal for a short time, Seet said.

“He actually is smart, but I don’t know if he just can’t help himself or what,” Seet said.