Dec. 19, 2012 —
The Lawrence County man accused of killing another man and burning his house to hide the evidence was sentenced Monday to 20 years in prison.
Robert Limmings, 49, of Blaine, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and second-degree burglary last month.
He had pleaded guilty to reduced charges in November to avoid going to trial. He was facing murder, tampering with physical evidence, arson and burglary charges.
His plea agreement called for sentences of 10 years on each charge and he is to serve the sentences consecutively, for a total of 20 years.
In Kentucky, those convicted of violent crimes are required to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences before being eligible for parole.
Limmings originally had been charged with capital murder and first-degree arson. The murder charge carried a potential death sentence.
The man Limmings killed, Richard Hopkins, 52, was found in December 2009 in his burned-out home on Garvin Ridge, off US 60 west of Olive Hill.
A state trooper found his body when he arrived to investigate the fire.
The body was badly burned and had to be sent to the Kentucky Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy to confirm his identity.
Kentucky State Police arson investigators determined the house fire had been intentionally set.
They theorized Limmings burglarized the residence, killed Hopkins inside and then set the house on fire to cover up the crime.
Limmings was returned after his sentencing to the Carter County Detention Center. He will be moved to a facility of the Kentucky Department of Corrections.