Brooks Houck pleads not guilty to stealing more than 200 bundles of Lowe's shingles

BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- Brooks Houck pleaded not guilty Thursday on theft charges in Nelson County. 

In addition to his court appearance, he's also the main suspect in the disappearance of Crystal Rogers, the mother of five who has been missing for three years. The case remains unsolved, and Houck has never been charged in that case. 

While his court date had nothing to do with Rogers, her family attended the arraignment. 

"It's very, very hard ... It's hard to look at him," said Rogers' mother, Sherry Ballard. "I'm not going to let him intimidate me."

Two weeks ago, Houck was indicted by a Nelson County Grand Jury. He faces four felony theft counts and four misdemeanor theft counts. The indictment says Houck visited Lowe's over the span of several days in April and stole more than 200 bundles of roofing shingles. 

In front of a judge, his attorney, Alex Daythorne, entered a plea of not guilty for Houck. The judge said Houck's is unsecured bond remains at $25,000. The conditions of the bond also remain the same. He has a dusk to dawn curfew except for work, medical or family emergencies. He is also ordered to have no contact with Lowe's. 

Houck immediately left the courtroom and denied answering any questions from reporters. 

When Houck was arrested on July 18, local, state and federal officials searched his home after receiving a warrant. Investigators were seen carrying out shingles, evidence bags and a computer. 

While Thursday's court appearance had nothing to do with Rogers' disappearance, Ballard said she's happy to see him in the court system. 

"I honestly wish it was for my daughter," Ballard said. "I wait for that day every minute, every second of my life. But to see him here for anything, I will take that. And I just hope he gets punishment for what he did."

Bardstown's police chief said if Houck is found guilty on all the theft charges, it could total a maximum of 20 years behind bars. 

Houck's pre-trial date is set for Jan. 18, 2019. His trial set for Jan. 28.

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