State News in Brief

Cemetery owner accused of stealing from customers

GEORGETOWN (AP) — A Kentucky cemetery owner faces charges that he stole $15,300 from six customers.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports a Scott County grand jury indicted Crestlawn Cemetery owner Dale Shackelford on Friday on one count of theft by deception.

According to the indictment, the 57-year-old Georgetown resident unlawfully obtained the money last year by allegedly “creating the false impression” that it would be used to buy headstones and grave plots.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison upon conviction.

Following complaints from consumers, a judge last month granted a default judgment to the state attorney general’s Office of Consumer Protection and ordered Shackelford to fulfill outstanding obligations or provide refunds. Shackelford also was ordered to register the cemetery and pay civil penalties to the attorney general’s office.


Homicides in Louisville reach high mark of 80 in 2016

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Louisville has matched last year’s decades-high mark of 80 homicides, with four months left in the year.

In the latest killing, a man was shot just after 8 p.m. Friday inside his mobile home.

Louisville police this week stepped up their patrols in two downtown areas where there have been a string of gang-related shootings.

The rate of slayings puts the city on pace to top 100, a level of violence not seen in Louisville since at least the 1970s, The Courier-Journal reported.

August accelerated the homicide tally’s growth, adding 17 deaths. Two were shot and killed at a 60th birthday party in the Parkland neighborhood on Aug. 9, and a 14-year-old was shot in the back of the head by a friend Aug. 24 during what police called a gang-related drive-by shooting. The next day, two young men were gunned down blocks away in the middle of the afternoon.

Many of the homicides have been attributed to skirmishes between rival gangs.

In an email obtained by the newspaper, a Louisville Metro Police Homicide supervisor recently cautioned officers to “Please be mindful of retaliatory shootings between these two groups. … Stay safe.”

The highest homicide count, according to police data from 1960 to the present, came in 1971 when 110 people were killed in the county.

Louisville Police Chief Steve Conrad says the community needs to work together “to resolve these underlying issues that lead young people to become involved in criminal activity.”


S.C. man arrested in Ky.

PRINCETON (AP) — Kentucky State Police arrested a South Carolina man who was driving a car with ten pounds of marijuana hidden in the dash, trunk and spare tire.

Police stopped the Mercury Milano on Interstate 24 in western Kentucky around noon for speeding. During the stop, according to a release from state police, a trooper noticed “indicators of criminal activity” and was given consent to search the car.

Trooper T.J. Williams found marijuana inside the dash, in the trunk along the right and rear fenders and in the spare tire. Thirty Adderall pills were also found, according to state police.

The driver, 33-year-old Saleh M. Al Garad, of Columbia, S.C. was arrested and charged with speeding, drug trafficking and other drug offenses.

Al Garad was jailed in the Caldwell County Detention Facility.

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Va. man pleads guilty in Ky. computer hacking case

LEXINGTON (AP) — A Virginia man has pleaded guilty to helping a Kentucky man access an online account to draw attention to a 2012 high school rape case in Ohio.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Noah McHugh of Alexandria, Virginia, pleaded guilty in federal court in Lexington to accessing a computer without authorization. McHugh admitted helping a Winchester, Kentucky, resident known online as “KYAnonymous” access a website.

The case is related to federal charges against Deric Lostutter, who lived in Winchester in December 2012, when he’s accused of taking part in hacking into the computer of a man who ran a fan website for Steubenville High School athletics. Lostutter is scheduled to be arraigned this month on separate federal charges.

McHugh is to be sentenced in December.


Lexington man sentenced to 30 years in fatal overdose case

LEXINGTON (AP) — A Lexington man has been sentenced to more than 30 years in prison for providing heroin and fentanyl to a new mother who died of an overdose last year.

The U.S. attorney’s office said 44-year-old Christopher Allen was sentenced to 365 months on Thursday for distributing a controlled substance resulting in death. Allen was convicted in May of distributing heroin and fentanyl resulting in death, conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute.

The prosecutor’s office said trial testimony indicated Allen distrib


UK sues student newspaper over open records

LEXINGTON (AP) — The University of Kentucky has filed a lawsuit against its student-run newspaper to appeal a state attorney general’s opinion that said the school violated the Kentucky Open Records Act.

The attorney general said the university wrongly withheld documents regarding a professor’s sexual harassment and assault case from the newspaper, The Kentucky Kernel.

The Herald-Leader reports the university filed suit Wednesday in Fayette County Circuit Court.

Over the summer the newspaper published a story about professor James Harwood, who resigned in February amid a sexual harassment investigation. The Kernel sought the university’s investigative documents, but the school refused. The Kernel appealed to the AG, which asked the university to show the documents so it could determine if they are exempt from public inspection. UK refused and decided to appeal the opinion.

The university has said it must protect victims from media and other government agencies. It also claims the documents are protected by attorney-client privilege.

“Our decision to appeal the opinion of the Office of the Attorney General is based on one thing — the obligation we have to victim survivors who have courageously come forward in the past under the assurance of confidentiality; and those who will follow,” university spokesman Jay Blanton said. “We have a legal obligation to protect their privacy and confidentiality. We have a moral obligation to protect them as well.”

Lexington attorney Tom Miller said students and taxpayers “deserve to know the full story of the professor who was forced to leave his employment due to his inappropriate conduct toward students.”

“While the university attempts to cast its appeal from the attorney general’s opinion as one necessary to preserve the trust placed in it by its students, its continued refusal to abide by the Open Records Act does little to merit that trust,” Miller said.


Sheriff: Injured twin dies, more charges expected

LONDON (AP) — A Kentucky sheriff says the parents of infant twins, already charged with assault and endangerment, could face even more serious charges now that one of their girls has died.

Laurel County Sheriff John Root announced that the 7-week-old girl with critical head trauma was pronounced dead Thursday evening at the University of Kentucky Children’s Hospital in Lexington. An autopsy was being conducted on Friday.

Doctors also examined her twin, and found that girl had suffered separate leg bone fractures. She too was hospitalized, but was expected to be released Friday to relatives, Deputy Gilbert Acciardo said.

Detectives charged 34-year-old Gary Nicely and 31-year-old Jessica Nicely on counts of assault and wanton endangerment. Online jail records don’t say whether the couple has attorneys.


Lack of teams forces Owensboro boat festival to be scrapped

OWENSBORO (AP) — An Ohio River boat festival held in Owensboro for the past five years has been scrapped.

The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer reports the Dragon Boat Festival didn’t draw enough participants. Owensboro public events director Tim Ross says organizers wanted 15 to 20 teams.

Boats of 20-member crews row along the river in front of English Park. Last year’s event drew 13 teams, down from a high of 30 in 2013.

The event had been moved back from August to Sept. 17.

Ross says the festival could be held again in future years.

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