Recent News Stories, May 7, 2015

Not Guilty pleas following Derby crime spree; Attorney General primary race; Deadly DUI avoids prison; Army Board taking re-look at awarding 1LT Conner Medal of Honor from WWII; Fayette Judge Goodwine says no to death penalty;

2 plead not guilty to killing Kentucky Derby tourist after crime spree | New York Post, Ky. — Two of three people charged in the fatal shooting of a Canadian tourist in town for the Kentucky Derby have entered not guilty pleas.

WAVE-TV reports that Tyrone Thomas Jr. and his girlfriend, Fatima Abu-Diab, appeared Tuesday in Jefferson District Court to answer charges in the death of 49-year-old Scott Hunter of Toronto. A judge set bond at $500,000 each.

Police have said Hunter died while trying to fight off three people who robbed him at random during a crime spree amid the festivities of the horse race.

State lawmaker, county attorney face off in AG primary | News OK

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Republican voters have two options to potentially end the party\’s long absence from the Kentucky attorney general\’s office: a state lawmaker who touts his role in shaping criminal-justice legislation and a county prosecutor who promotes his courtroom experience. The May 19 Republican primary for the job as Kentucky\’s chief law enforcement officer pits state Sen. Whitney Westerfield against Lawrence County Attorney Michael Hogan. Kentucky\’s current two-term attorney general, Democrat Jack Conway, is running for governor. The nominee will face Andy Beshear, the son of Gov. Steve Beshear, in the general election. Beshear is unopposed in the Democratic primary.

Man accused in deadly DUI won’t go to prison | Local News – WLKY Home Jeffersonville man accused in a deadly DUI crash will not go to prison. His passenger, Christian Jenkins, 45, died of his injuries. On Wednesday, Wilton pleaded guilty to reckless homicide, DUI, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Top prosecutor balks at judge’s decision to drop death penalty for 2 charged in Lexington slaying | Crime |

imagesCo-defendants in an upcoming robbery-murder trial will not face the possibility of execution after Fayette Circuit Judge Pamela Goodwine granted a defense motion to remove the death penalty from the jury’s sentencing options. Jones and Robert Guernsey, scheduled to go on trial June 1, had faced the possibility of execution if convicted in the 2013 shooting death of Derek Pelphrey, 23. On Tuesday, Goodwine, who has expressed opposition to the death penalty in court, granted a defense request to exclude death from consideration for Jones, 21, and Guernsey, 34.

An Army board will consider new evidence to decide whether a Clinton County native should receive the Medal of Honor.

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 1.00.27 PMThe new evidence includes sworn statements from three eyewitnesses crediting Army 1st Lt. Garlin Murl Conner with helping to save the lives of fellow soldiers during World War II.

The Army Board for Correction of Military Records recently received the evidence, said Dennis Shepherd, an attorney with the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs.

Shepherd, Lexington attorney Donald Todd and Heather French Henry, commissioner of the Department of Veterans Affairs, have represented Conner’s 85-year-old widow, Lyda P. Conner of Albany, in her 18-year campaign to have the Army reconsider the record of her late husband.

“Now the Army Board for Correction of Military Records has, within 180 days, to issue a decision in the case,” Shepherd said. “The case is still alive and we’re just waiting.”

Conner earned four Silver Stars, four Bronze Stars, seven Purple Hearts and the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions during 28 straight months of combat during World War II.