Monthly Archives: January 2018

1/29 Weekly Media Release

From the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney. Please see our Media Releases page at louisvilleprosecutor.com/media-releases for more details and archives.

PDF download of this document

Seal of Kentucky
OFFICE OF THE COMMONWEALTH’S ATTORNEY
COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY
30th JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
THOMAS B. WINE, COMMONWEALTH’S ATTORNEY

Weekly Media Release: Jan. 29 – Feb. 2, 2018

Attention: Assignment Editor
Director of Communications:  Jeff Cooke
Office:                 (502) 595-2340 Ext. 3027
Cell / Text:        (502) 262-5809
E-mail:               jcooke@louisvilleprosecutor.com

NOTE: These represent only a few of the many cases which the Office of Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney is handling. If you have any comments, or need further information concerning these or any other matters please do not hesitate to call. An indictment is only an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until or unless found guilty. The enclosed court actions are subject to change.

According to the Rules of Criminal Procedure (RCr 3.02, 3.05, and 8.01), the arraignment of individuals whose case has been submitted directly to the grand jury shall take place within a reasonable time after the return of an indictment. If you are interested in a case that has been submitted directly to the grand jury, then please contact the court division in which it has been assigned to obtain the time and date of the arraignment.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

Michael Torrence – 16CR1550 (Assault in the First Degree, Wanton Endangerment in the First Degree, Possession of a Handgun by a Convicted Felon)

  • Mr. Torrence (DOB 01/22/89) was charged with shooting a victim near South 26th Street and Greenwood Avenue on May 17, 2016. A jury trial began on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 in Division 7 of Jefferson Circuit Court. On January 19, the jury convicted the defendant of the above charges. The recommended a sentence of 25 years in prison. Final Sentencing is scheduled for March 16, 2018 in Division 7 of Jefferson Circuit Court. The defendant is not eligible for probation. Critt Cunningham and Elizabeth Jones Brown are the prosecutors.

ARRAIGNMENTS

Michael Renee Hamblen – 18CR0281 (Murder, Possession of a Handgun by a Convicted Felon, and Tampering with Physical Evidence)

  • Mr. Hamblen (DOB 06/19/96) is charged in connection with the shooting death of Ms. Jasmine Newsome on January, 6, 2018.  The shooting occurred at 2309 West Ormsby Avenue.  An arraignment is scheduled for Monday, January, 29 2018, at 1:00 p.m. in Division 8 of Jefferson Circuit Court.  Peter Lovett is the prosecutor.

HEARINGS

Travon Curry and Thaddius Thomas – 18CR0059   (Murder, Robbery in the First Degree, Receiving Stolen Property over $10,000, Wanton Endangerment in the First Degree, Tampering with Physical Evidence [Thomas], Possession of a Handgun by a Minor)

  • Mr. Curry (DOB 12/03/01) and Mr. Thomas (DOB 11/17/01) are charged with robbing and killing Jason Spencer on November 5, 2017 in the 1200 block of Everett Avenue.  Both defendants were 15 years old at the time of the incident. A third co-defendant, who was also 15 years old, is still pending in juvenile court.  A fourth co-defendant, who was 13 years old and the getaway driver of the stolen vehicle, will not be tried as an adult. Mr. Curry and Mr. Thomas were arraigned on January 22, 2018.  A bond hearing is scheduled for January 30, 2018 at 9:15 a.m. in Division 6 of Jefferson Circuit Court, and a pretrial conference is scheduled for March 23, 2018 at 9:30 a.m. Emily Lantz is the prosecutor.

TRIALS

Stephon Craig, Wallace Louis, Jr., Brandon Rauh, and Mario Vricic – 14CR2416 (Robbery in the First Degree [Multiple Counts])

  • Messrs. Craig (DOB 08/15/86), Louis (DOB 11/19/87), Rauh (DOB 09/26/92), and Vricic (DOB 09/30/93), are charged in connection with multiple robberies of Radio Shack and Verizon Wireless stores between June 13, 2014, and September 5, 2014 where they were stealing cell phones and taking them to Chicago to be sold. A Trial is scheduled for Tuesday, January 30, 2018, at 9 a.m. in Division 1 of the Jefferson Circuit Court. Jennifer Murzyn Yancey is the prosecutor.

Lloyd Hammond – 16CR1169 (Murder [Two Counts], Burglary in the First Degree, Unlawful Imprisonment in the First Degree, Retaliating Against a Participant in the Legal Process)

  • Mr. Hammond (DOB 10/20/85) is charged with the June 3rd, 2006 home invasion and shooting death of William Sawyers (and unlawful imprisonment of Troya Sheckles), and the shooting death of Terrell Cherry on that same date.  A Jury Trial is ongoing in Division 7 of Jefferson Circuit Court.  Frank Dahl and Kirk Rose are the prosecutors.

***end***

1/25 Weekly Circuit Court Reports

From the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney. Please see our Circuit Court Reports page at louisvilleprosecutor.com/circuit-court-reports for more information and archives.

All report titles link to PDF documents:

Judge declines to grant habeas corpus relief to prisoners whose indictments were challenged

From the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney. Please see our Media Releases page at louisvilleprosecutor.com/media-releases for more details and archives.

PDF download of this document

Seal of Kentucky
OFFICE OF THE COMMONWEALTH’S ATTORNEY
COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY
30th JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
THOMAS B. WINE, COMMONWEALTH’S ATTORNEY

Media Release: January 22, 2018

Today Jefferson Circuit Judge Ann Bailey Smith declined to order the release of twenty-two defendants currently being held in the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections as requested in a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed on their behalf by the Office of the Louisville Metro Public Defender.

In the petition filed Friday, January 22, 2018 the Public Defender Jay Lambert asked the judge to order the release of the defendants because one of the persons sitting on the grand jury which returned indictments against them was not a resident of Jefferson County and therefore not qualified to sit on the grand jury panel.  The petition argued that the participation of an “unqualified” person in grand jury deliberations rendered their indictments “void and without effect.”

The judge determined that the issue was moot and did not require her to act since the Jefferson County Grand Jury had reheard these cases and returned new indictments against each of the defendants.

The controversy regarding these indictments arose last week when the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office learned that one of the grand jurors sitting on the January grand jury panel was actually a resident of Bullitt County and had initially failed to make that known when the Grand Jury Judge and the Commonwealth Attorney’s office conducted their usual juror qualification inquiry.  As soon as the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office learned of this issue it immediately notified the Grand Jury Judge and the defendants’ attorneys and scheduled new grand jury presentations of their cases in order to avoid any challenge to their prosecutions.

Commonwealth Attorney Tom Wine stated “We’ve never had something like this happen before, but as soon as the problem was discovered our staff acted promptly to bring the matter to the attention of the proper parties and to see that the cases were properly reheard.”

*          *            *

The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office occupies a critical position in the criminal justice system. Commonly referred to as the District Attorney in most states, the Commonwealth’s Attorney must focus the power of the state on those who defy its laws. As legal representative for the people, the Commonwealth’s Attorney has the duty to seek justice for all.

PLEASE CONTACT
Jeff Cooke
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney
514 West Liberty Street
Louisville, KY 40202
Tel: 502-595-2340
Mobile:  502-262-5809

1/19 Weekly Media Release

From the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney. Please see our Media Releases page at louisvilleprosecutor.com/media-releases for more details and archives.

PDF download of this document

Seal of Kentucky
OFFICE OF THE COMMONWEALTH’S ATTORNEY
COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY
30th JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
THOMAS B. WINE, COMMONWEALTH’S ATTORNEY

Weekly Media Release: January 22, 2018 – January 26, 2018

Attention: Assignment Editor
Director of Communications:  Jeff Cooke
Office:                 (502) 595-2340 Ext. 3027
Cell / Text:        (502) 262-5809
E-mail:               jcooke@louisvilleprosecutor.com

NOTE: These represent only a few of the many cases which the Office of Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney is handling. If you have any comments, or need further information concerning these or any other matters please do not hesitate to call. An indictment is only an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until or unless found guilty. The enclosed court actions are subject to change.

According to the Rules of Criminal Procedure (RCr 3.02, 3.05, and 8.01), the arraignment of individuals whose case has been submitted directly to the grand jury shall take place within a reasonable time after the return of an indictment. If you are interested in a case that has been submitted directly to the grand jury, then please contact the court division in which it has been assigned to obtain the time and date of the arraignment.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

Brandon Kraatz – 16CR2809   (Murder)

  • Mr. Kraatz (DOB 10/03/96) was charged with the October 10, 2016 murder of David House at Deal Master Food Mart, located at 6115 Blevins Gap Road. The defendant was arrested three days later and admitted to shooting Mr. House.  The incident was captured on surveillance video. A jury trial began on January 9, 2018 in Division 10 of Jefferson Circuit Court, the jury convicted the defendant of Murder and recommended a sentence of 25 years. Emily Lantz and Milja Zgonjanin are the prosecutors.

Ronald L. Bullitt – 15CR3385 (Rape in the First Degree, Persistent Felony Offender in the First Degree.)

  • Mr. Bullitt (DOB 11/12/90) was charged with a rape which occurred on December 17, 2015, in a garage near Florence and Third Streets. The victim was forced into a garage at gunpoint, strangled, held-down, and assaulted.  A jury trial began on Tuesday, January 9th 2018, in Division 13 of Jefferson Circuit Court. The jury convicted the defendant of Rape in the First Degree and found him to be a Persistent Felony Offender in the First Degree.  The jury recommended a sentence of 20 years. Critt Cunningham and Amanda Hernandez are the prosecutors.

Michael Torrence – 16CR1550 (Assault in the First Degree, Wanton Endangerment in the First Degree, Possession of a Handgun by a Convicted Felon)

  • Mr. Torrence (DOB 01/22/89) was charged with shooting a victim near South 26th Street and Greenwood Avenue on May 17, 2016. A jury trial began on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 in Division 7 of Jefferson Circuit Court. On January 19, the jury convicted the defendant of the above charges. The jury will assess penalty on Monday, January 22, 2018 at 9:00 a.m.

BJ Starlight- 16CR0035 (Escape in the Second Degree, Persistent Felony Offender in the First Degree)

  • Mr. Starlight (DOB 02/28/51) was found guilty of escaping custody on January 19, 2016, when he failed to return to CCC from a release and was located 8 days later in Madison County, Kentucky. Mr. Starlight has a lengthy criminal history including shooting a Kentucky State Police Officer in 1977 and leading police on a four county police chase in 2012.  A Trial began on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 in Division 12 of Jefferson Circuit Court with a jury returning a guilty verdict and 15 year sentence on Thursday, January 18, 2018.  Jennifer Murzyn Yancey is the prosecutor.

PRETRIAL CONFERENCES

Brice Jamar Rhodes – 16CR1891 (Murder [Three Counts], Tampering with Physical Evidence, Abuse of a Corpse [Two Counts], Receiving Stolen Property)

  • Mr. Rhodes (DOB 09/8/90) is charged with the May 4, 2016, murder of Christopher Jones on the 800 block of 41st Street, and the May 22, 2016, murder of two children, sixteen-year-old Maurice Gordon and fourteen-year-old Larry Ordway, at 763 N. Hite Avenue.  He is also charged with attempting to dispose of evidence related to this case and of attempting to burn the bodies of the victims, which were discovered in the rear of 4028 River Park Drive.  In addition to these charges, Mr. Rhodes is also indicted in case number 16CR3045 on charges of Intimidating a Participant in the Legal Process and Terroristic Threatening in the Third Degree.  A pretrial conference is scheduled for Friday, January 26, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. in Division 4 of Jefferson Circuit Court.  Elizabeth Jones Brown is the prosecutor.

TRIALS

Shane VanWilliams – 16CR2519 (Murder, Robbery in the First Degree)

  • Mr. VanWilliams (DOB 09/12/91) is charged with the August 21, 2016 murder of Joseph Key at 1828 Appleton Lane in Shively. A jury trial is ongoing in Division 10 of Jefferson Circuit Court. Josh Porter and Scott Drabenstadt are the prosecutors.

***end***

1/18 Weekly Circuit Court Reports

From the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney. Please see our Circuit Court Reports page at louisvilleprosecutor.com/circuit-court-reports for more information and archives.

All report titles link to PDF documents: