I-Team: Contractor convicted of stealing blames his crimes on drugs

Posted at 5:33 PM, May 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-09 18:55:03-04

HAMILTON, Ohio -- A West Chester man convicted of stealing from seniors in Kentucky and Ohio blamed his crimes on drug addiction.

The 9 On Your Side I-Team started looking into James Boswell last summer. Tuesday, he was sentenced to a year behind bars for violating his probation in Butler County. He said his actions were the result of meth and heroin addictions.

"I never did drugs in my life," he said. "I got introduced to it, I liked it. It was harder to quit than I thought it would be."

Minus 65 days' credit, Boswell will spend an additional 10 months in prison.

He apologized for testing the court.

"There's nothing I can say, your honor, to make things right," Boswell said. "But I'm sorry for what I've done."

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In November, Boswell pleaded guilty to forcing 97-year-old Mary Jane Davis, who has Alzheimer's disease, to pay him about $3,500 for partially paving her driveway without her permission. He was sentenced to probation for the crime.

"He says, 'And you really need it.' I says, 'Well, I don't think I need it that bad, I don't even have a car,'" Davis said in November.

Davis' niece, Bekki Hull, hasn't missed a court hearing. She said she thinks the judge made the right decision.

"At the time I didn't like the idea of the judge just giving him probation, but looking back I'm thinking he knew what he was doing," she said. "He gave him probation because he knew he was going to do it again."

The probation violation stems from a case in Hamilton County. Court records show Boswell pleaded guilty in March to stealing from a 91-year-old woman and got a six-month prison sentence.

Davis' family is glad Boswell will be off the streets for the next year.

"I'm happy he's someplace he can't hurt anybody, take any more money from these elderly people that he preys on," Hull said.

The I-Team discovered Boswell is charged with a similar crime in Warren County. He and his son, Edward, are both accused of doing questionable work at Arrlee and Orrville Barber's Clermont County home, and also forcing them to pay.

"That was my money that I pay my bills with, and he took almost all of it," Arrlee Barber said.

Boswell will face a judge in that case next week. There's an arrest warrant out for Edward Boswell as well.

His other son, James Boswell Jr., is due in Boone County court next week in a similar case.