State News in Brief

Officials: Police shoot, kill man in E.Ky.

PHELPS (AP) — Authorities say a state trooper in eastern Kentucky was investigating an assault complaint when he shot and killed a man.

Kentucky State Trooper Steven Mounts says in a news release that 32-year-old John Casey was killed Sunday morning in the Phelps community of Pike County.

Mounts says Casey threw a rock that struck a trooper’s face, then reached into his pocket to retrieve an object that turned out to be a beer can.

Mounts says Casey’s actions prompted the trooper to fire his weapon. Casey was pronounced dead at the scene. His body was sent to Frankfort for an autopsy.

His sister, Laura Casey, tells WYMT-TV that no altercation had occurred involving her brother prior to the shooting.

Authorities have not released Casey’s race or that of the unidentified trooper.


Police: Armed men go to Walmart to prepare for doomsday

LEXINGTON (AP) — Police say a group of men with semi-automatic weapons and body armor went to a Kentucky Walmart to prepare for doomsday.

Lexington Police Lt. Jackie Newman tells the Lexington Herald-Leader that officers were called to the Walmart on Saturday night after people reported seeing men inside a car wearing body armor and holding weapons. A 6-month old baby was also in the car.

The men told police they were preparing for doomsday and needed supplies.

Police found marijuana in the car and cited the men for the drugs, but did not charge them with any other violations. Police say a license is not required to have a semi-automatic weapon in a car.

Lexington Police spokesman Richard Willoby says the men were not doing anything criminal with the weapons.


Man accused of stealing 10 vehicles

MANCHESTER (AP) — An eastern Kentucky man accused of stealing 10 vehicles in a crime spree spanning less than two weeks has been arrested.

Clay County Sheriff Kevin Johnson tells the Lexington Herald-Leader that the series of crimes allegedly committed by Timothy Lawson “sounds like a novel.”

Johnson says the Clay County man is accused of stealing the vehicles since July 21.

The sheriff says it started when a shotgun-wielding Lawson allegedly robbed an Owsley County woman at her home and took her car. The sheriff says the 29-year-old Lawson wrecked that car, beginning the series of alleged car thefts.

Officers arrested Lawson on Saturday when his stepfather detained him. Lawson was being held in the Clay County Detention Center. His charges include first-degree robbery, kidnapping an adult and first-degree wanton endangerment.


Judge sees red after bare-legged prisoner brought to court

LOUISVILLE (AP) — A Louisville judge scolded jail officials for bringing a female inmate to court without a jail jumpsuit and, it appeared, with no pants.

On Friday’s courtroom video recording, an attorney for the woman tells Judge Amber Wolf the jail refused to give her client pants or hygiene products.

WDRB-TV reports the woman was jailed for not completing a diversion program for shoplifting. She said she had been held for days without pants.

An angry Wolf phoned jail officials during the hearing and demanded an explanation.

Jail officials say the woman was wearing shorts hidden by a long shirt. Steve Durham, a jail spokesman, said she wasn’t in custody long enough to be given a jumpsuit.

Wolf apologized to the woman and released her with time served and a $100 fine.


Ky. chief justice elected president of national group

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky’s chief justice has been elected president of the Conference of Chief Justices and chair of the National Center for State Courts board of directors.

Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. was elected during the groups’ annual meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, last week. The only other Kentucky chief justice to hold the post was the late Robert F. Stephens, who served from 1992 to 1993.

The Conference of Chief Justices includes the top judicial officers of each state, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. The Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts said in a news release the conference develops policies and educational programs designed to improve court functions.

Minton said in the release he wants to look at access to justice for people who can’t afford lawyers and other issues.


Historic Perryville battlefield site expands protected land.

PERRYVILLE (AP) — About 70 acres of land has been reclaimed for the Perryville Battlefield, adding to the 1,027 acres that the Civil War Trust has already preserved.

Joni House, program coordinator for the Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site, says the acquisition is a “big deal.”

The Advocate Messenger in Danville reports the land was purchased for $736,000, by the Civil War Trust, which has been working with the state park to preserve the historic lands. It purchased the land through grant funding from the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program. That program matched donations from thousands of people. Some of the land was also donated by a private landowner.

House says the newly acquired land represents the farthest point north any organized Confederate army advanced, west of the Allegheny mountains.


Officials: Man drowns after falling into cemetery pond

LEXINGTON (AP) — Officials say a 29-year-old man has drowned after falling into a pond at the Lexington Cemetery.

Local news outlets report the Fayette County Coroner’s Office says 29-year-old Luis Arevalo Jimenez died following the incident Sunday morning.

Officials say Jimenez’s girlfriend told 911 dispatchers that Jimenez tried to climb down the slope of the pond to feed the ducks when he slipped and fell into about five feet of water, but could not swim.

Lt. Jackie Newman of the Lexington Police Department says crews searched for about 30 minutes before finding Jimenez submerged in the water.

He was taken to a hospital, where he died.

The coroner is calling the death an accidental drowning.


Startup spirits maker plans distillery in Henry Co.

LOUISVILLE (AP) — A startup spirits maker is planning a $5 million investment in a distillery and park in Henry County in north-central Kentucky.

The Courier-Journal reports the venture by Patriot Brands LLC is expected to create 15 jobs.

Gov. Matt Bevin’s office says Patriot Brands will construct a distillery in Pleasureville to produce bourbon and other spirits. The site also will provide educational opportunities.

Construction is expected to begin in September, with operations at Six-Mile Creek Distillery underway by August 2017.

Patriot Brands also plans to build a history park at the site to honor Revolutionary War patriots. The park will also have a grist mill.

The site is to have a bed and breakfast and several tasting venues, one being an authentic 18th-century log cabin.


Western Ky. city official facing drug trafficking charges

MARION (AP) — A city administrator in western Kentucky has been arrested on drug-related charges.

Kentucky State Police say an investigation led by its Drug Enforcement and Special Investigations unit led to the arrest of Marion City Administrator Mark Bryant on Thursday night.

The Paducah Sun reports the arrest came after police received a tip from the U.S. Postal Inspector’s Office that the 55-year-old was suspected of drug trafficking.

State police say their investigation revealed that while Bryant was overseeing Crittenden County work-release inmates, he sold synthetic drugs to them. Investigators say Bryant defaced shipping labels on U.S. Postal Service packages to avoid detection of drug trafficking.

Bryant was charged with trafficking in synthetic drugs, promoting contraband and tampering with physical evidence. He has served as city administrator since 2006.

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