News in Brief
Man found guilty in 2014 deadly home invasion
BARBOURVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A man has been found guilty in a 2014 fatal home invasion in Kentucky following a mistrial earlier this year.
WYMT-TV reports Patrick Baker was convicted on charges of reckless homicide, evidence tampering, first-degree robbery and impersonating an officer in the death of Donald Mills. The case against Baker on wanton endangerment charges was declared a mistrial for unknown reasons.
Prosecutors said Baker and three others broke into Donald Mills’ Knox County home dressed as U.S. Marshals demanding money and drugs. Police say Baker fatally shot Mills, and the others were involved in the robbery plot. Baker’s defense team questioned DNA evidence and the motives of those who testified against him, including two co-defendants.
The jury recommended a combined sentence of 19 years. Baker will be formally sentenced Dec. 1.
School district investigates use of stun gun on student
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A fight at a Kentucky high school in which an officer was assaulted and a stun gun was used on a student has led the district to launch two investigations.
The Courier Journal reports Acting Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Marty Pollio announced Thursday a review of school personnel’s response to the Wednesday incident and an audit of school safety policies.
Jeffersontown Police Chief Ken Hatmaker says a student punched and tackled an officer as his brother was being led out of Jefferstown High School following a fight, at which point a stun gun was used on him. Another video shows an officer kicking a student twice. Hatmaker called the police response appropriate.
The two brothers were arrested.
Polio says videos of the incident concern him, and will be incorporated into the review.
Man pleads not guilty in daughter’s heat-related death
RUSSELLVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky man has pleaded not guilty in the heat-related death of his 5-month-old daughter.
The Daily News reports that 32-year-old Michael Anthony Thigpen appeared Thursday in Logan Circuit Court to answer to charges of manslaughter, wanton endangerment, tampering with physical evidence and failure to report child neglect-abuse. A public defender appointed by a judge entered the not guilty plea on his behalf.
Deputies arrested Thigpen in September after investigating the June 10 death of his daughter. Sheriff’s detective Charles Dauley testified during a hearing in October that Thigpen told police he left the girl and her two siblings in a van and fell asleep in their home. Dauley said Thigpen awoke several hours later, brought the children in, put cold rags on them and gave them Pedialyte through a syringe.
Park officials recommend banning spray paint sales to minors
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Park officials in Kentucky’s largest city are recommending that council members consider banning the sale of spray paint to people who are under age 21 in an effort to fight graffiti.
Parks Director Seve Ghose recently told a Louisville Metro Council committee meeting that he needs help dealing with the pervasive problem.
Parks spokesman Jon Reiter said it cost the city nearly $100,000 to repair 25 major spray paint vandalism incidents last year, when materials and labor costs are included.
Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith said officials are willing to consider recommendations from its agencies, but she didn’t know if restricting sales would do much to curtail the problem.
Ghose told The Courier-Journal that larger cities, including Chicago and Phoenix, have implemented such bans and seen a decrease in graffiti.
Enrollment open for next year’s Roadside Farm Market
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Farm Bureau says enrollment is open for next year’s Certified Roadside Farm Market program that helps connect farmers with consumers.
The organization says the program began in 1996 as a way to help farmers market their fruits and vegetables directly from roadside markets.
Since then, the Farm Bureau says the membership has expanded to a variety of other farm enterprises, including greenhouses, landscape nurseries, Christmas tree farms, vineyards/wineries and meat/cheese farm markets.
Markets certified through the program are identified by a sign with the cornucopia logo. The program also provides collective advertising, promotional items, educational and tour opportunities and other market benefits.
The Farm Bureau says the goal is to increase net farm income for member markets.
Man gets 20-year sentence in fatal stabbing of his sisters
HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky man convicted in the stabbing deaths of his two sisters has been sentenced.
The Kentucky New Era reports Judge John Atkins sentenced 66-year-old Robert Jerry Rogers on Thursday to 20 years on both murder counts, to be served concurrently.
Atkins ruled Rogers was not insane when he killed Joanne Rogers and Francis Carolyn Coleman in August 2016, but acknowledged his mental illness. Rogers was found guilty but mentally ill on Tuesday.
Family members and Rogers’ defense team had requested leniency because of Rogers’ mental illness.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Lynn Pryor had asked for a harsher sentence, pointing out that the case would have been eligible for the death penalty.
Rogers attorney Clay Beineke says he’s disappointed with Tuesday’s ruling but satisfied with the sentence as it’s the minimum.