News in Brief
Man pleads not guilty in death of woman found in church
SOMERSET (AP) — A man charged with murder and robbery in the death of a 70-year-old woman found inside a Kentucky church has pleaded not guilty.
News outlets report 41-year-old Dwight Mitchell Bell appeared in court Friday and a judge set a preliminary hearing for Sept. 20.
Somerset police announced Tuesday that Bell was arrested in Dandrige, Tennessee, on charges stemming from the theft of Ruthie Carolyn New’s car, which was found in Indianapolis. The murder and first-degree robbery charges were added later.
New was found dead in a storage area at Denham Street Baptist Church in Somerset on Aug. 24.
Pulaski County Coroner Clyde Strunk said an autopsy ruled New’s death a homicide, and she had likely been dead for 24 to 36 hours.
Police: Man, woman conspired to kill woman’s ex-boyfriend
MANCHESTER (AP) — Police say a man and a woman conspired to kill the woman’s ex-boyfriend.
WYMT-TV reports that Angelina Grubb was arrested Wednesday on an indictment warrant in connection with the July 4 shooting death of 34-year-old Jody Sevier in Clay County. Police are still looking for Matthew Caldwell.
Kentucky State Police said in July that Sevier showed up at Grubb’s home and Caldwell shot and killed him. Police at the time said Grubb had previously filed for an emergency protective order against Sevier that hadn’t yet been served.
Court records say investigators believe Grubb and Caldwell conspired to kill Sevier and robbed him after his death.
Grubb faces criminal complicity to commit murder and robbery charged. Caldwell will face murder and robbery charges.
It’s unclear if they have lawyers.
Ky. city considers mask ban in wake of violent protests
GEORGETOWN (AP) — A Kentucky city is considering following the example of several others in banning masks in public places, following violent protests across the country.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the proposed Georgetown ordinance would prohibit anyone from wearing a mask, hood or a disguise that would hide a substantial portion of someone’s face. Exemptions would provide for masks for theatrical productions, sports equipment, motorcycle helmets, children under 16 or city-authorized Halloween events. The ordinance would not apply to clothing.
Assistant Police Chief Robert Swanigan says the ordinance allows peaceful protest but prevents anonymity in the case of violence.
Councilwoman Karen Tingle-Sames expressed concern about freedom of speech infringement, but Hartley said the ordinance doesn’t hinder expression of opinion.
The ordinance faces a Sept. 25 council vote.
Lexington and Pikeville have similar ordinances.
Assistant police chief suspended, under investigation
PROSPECT (AP) — The assistant police chief of a Kentucky city has been suspended and is under investigation.
News outlets report that Assistant Chief for Prospect Police Todd Shaw was suspended with pay on Sept. 1. Prospect Mayor John Evans confirmed the suspension to WDRB-TV last week, but would not reveal what the investigation concerned. City of Prospect Police Chief Jeff Sherrard would not tell WAVE-TV what the investigation concerned this week.
Shaw has been with the department since 2012. He previously was with the Louisville Metro Police Department for 21 years, before retiring as a sergeant.
Brown-Forman plans staffing cuts at modernized cooperage
LOUISVILLE (AP) — Spirits maker Brown-Forman Corp. says a $45 million investment in its barrel-making operation in Kentucky will result in the loss of 70 jobs at its cooperage.
The Louisville-based company said Thursday that new equipment in the heading and staving departments will eliminate the 70 jobs once the updates are fully implemented in early 2019.
The company says the affected hourly workers will be offered transitional assistance.
Brown-Forman says the Louisville cooperage will continue to employ about 205 people.
The cooperage crafts more than 2,500 barrels per day for the aging of spirits. The facility will remain open during the modernization project.
The company says the modernization will make the facility more efficient.
Suspect caught after slipping off cuffs, escaping facility
LOUISVILLE (AP) — A suspect led corrections officers on a chase after slipping out of handcuffs and escaping from a detention facility.
The Courier-Journal reports 27-year-old Houston Briscoe had been booked into Metro Corrections in Louisville on a fourth-degree assault charge Thursday morning. An arrest citation says he was handcuffed to a metal cage, but slipped out and fled the building, “crossing traffic and creating a substantial risk of substantial physical injury” to the six officers chasing him.
Briscoe now faces additional charges of second-degree escape and first-degree fleeing or evading police.
One officer sustained injuries on his hands, elbows and knees during the chase and was taken to the hospital.
Briscoe also faces additional charges that include third-degree assault from resisting his initial arrest.
It’s unclear if he has a lawyer.
Man, woman found fatally shot in mobile home park
LOUISVILLE (AP) — Two people have been found dead in a mobile home park in Kentucky.
News outlets report a man and a woman were shot in the Lazy Acres mobile home park, in what The Courier-Journal reports has ended a 19-day streak in Louisville without fatal shootings. The shootings were initially reported as a double homicide, but Louisville Metro police spokesman Dwight Mitchell says it’s currently a death investigation with no outstanding suspects.
The deceased have not been identified, but Mitchell says they were related.
Mitchell says there is no threat to the public.