Jason Dean Cockerham, age 32, of West Jefferson, was arrested Aug. 1 by the Ashe County Sheriff's Department on charges of felonious larceny and larceny of firearm.
According a release from Capt. Carolyn Gentry with the sheriff's department, Cockerham was employed by the victim – an elderly lady in the Beaver Creek community - as a caretaker/handy man. Cockerham lived at the residence in exchange for these jobs. According to the release, the victim had discovered a large quantity of jewelry and three handguns missing.
Much of the jewelry was family heirlooms, the release read, and much of it had been melted down. However the detective investigating the case did recover from a pawn shop some of the stones from the melted jewelry amounting to approximately $1,800. Gentry said there was a 12-carat diamond plus sapphires and amethyst recovered from the stolen jewelry.
The three guns were antique, and two of these have been recovered, Gentry said, but the department does not yet have the total value of the recovered guns. A 1911 Harrington & Richardson revolver and a 1910 Colt revolver were recovered, but a third gun was taken to a gun show in Charlotte and sold illegally without paperwork, she said.
At least some of the items, including the jewelry, were taken to a local pawn shop, Gentry said, but the guns were refused.
Cockerham is currently in the Ashe County Jail on a $45,000 bond. Further charges are currently being taken by Sgt. Anders as he continues his investigation.