Local News 4-16-2014

Traffic Stop in Johnson Co. Leads to Meth Discovery

According to a news release from the Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Office, on the morning of Friday, April 11th, 2014 at approximately 2:20AM, Deputy Byron Fairchild observed a 2004 Black KIA operating with only one working tail light on Broadway Street in Paintsville. As Fairchild turned to follow the vehicle, he observed the vehicle running a stop sign. After performing a traffic stop on the KIA, it was determined that the driver, 30 year old Nathan Cox of Paintsville, appeared to be operating the vehicle under the influence of drugs. Cox allowed the deputy to search the vehicle and a book bag inside the vehicle. Inside a book bag in the vehicle Fairchild located 3 needles with substances inside and a small clear baggie with a white powdery substance believed to be methamphetamine. Through further investigation it was determined that Nathan Cox was operating on a suspended license. Nathan Cox was taken into custody and charged with: DUI, Possession of Controlled Substance 1st Methamphetamine, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Operating on Suspended License, Disregarding a Stop Sign, and Improper Equipment. Cox was lodged in the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center.

Martin Co. Man Dies in a Motorcycle Crash in Lawrence Co.

One man was killed late Sunday evening, following a motorcycle crash on U.S. Highway 23 in the Shannon Branch area of Lawrence County. The accident happened around 9:50 p.m. Sunday. Police said Elmer L. Maynard, 53, of Debord, Ky. lost control of his Harley Davidson when he struck a guard rail and was thrown from the motorcycle. The Lawrence County coroner said Maynard died at the scene of the crash. Police believe Maynard was driving over the speed limit when he crashed. The crash remains under investigation.

Man Charged With Killing MSU Student Sentenced

A Rowan County man who admitted to murdering the mother of his child was sentenced in the case Monday. A judge agreed with the recommended sentence of 38 years for Casey Shay, who pleaded guilty to murdering Morehead State University student Cassandra "Cassie" Owens last year. Investigators say Shay shot Owens twice as she slept inside the bedroom of her Christian Street home in Morehead in March of 2013. The 21-year-old's body was found a day later. Shay went to the Rowan County Detention Center and confessed he murdered the mother of his child, then 2-yeard-old, Madison.

Owens' mother spoke for about an hour in court Monday before the judge's decision was announced. Melody York directed much of her personal testimony at Casey Shay, detailing her ordeal of finding out about the murder, and questioning Shay's true intention, calling her daughter's murder a planned attack. Shay's family said they disagreed with a lot of what was said about him in court, and added they wished the case had gone to trial.

Human Remains Located Confirmed to be Missing Person

According to a news release from the KSP in Ashland, on Friday April 11, 2014 the Kentucky State Police in Ashland responded to South Shoe, KY after being contacted by the Greenup County Sheriff’s Department. The Sheriff’s Department, while searching for a robbery suspect, had located human skeletal remains. The remains were located in a small creek near the intersection of US 23 and State Route 1043.

Greenup County Coroner Neil Wright and The Kentucky State Medical Examiner’s Office have positively identified the human skeletal remains as Gerald L. Boyles. At this time Mr. Boyles death does not appear to be criminal in nature

Lee County Fire Leads to Murder Investigation

According to the Kentucky State Police, they are now saying a Friday fire and death in Lee County, was actually a murder and they will investigate it as such. An Autopsy was performed on Saturday, April 12, 2014 at the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort and the result’s concluded that Martha Belle Hollar, 79 years old of Beattyville, was deceased prior to her residence catching on fire. The murder investigation is being conducted by KSP Detective Jesse Armstrong and Arson Investigator Pat Alford. The Kentucky State Police requests anyone with information about the case to contact the Richmond KSP Post at (859) 623 - 2404.

House Approves Ethics Reform

House lawmakers overwhelmingly approved sweeping changes to the Legislative Ethics Commission on Monday in an attempt to quell the political storm that erupted last week after the panel did not punish a former lawmaker accused of sexual harassment. In the days following the decision, the three women who filed the complaint said House Democrats were not providing a safe work environment, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell condemned the decision as a "cover-up" and Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes called on the Legislative Ethics Commission to reopen the case.

Monday, House Democrats took turns expressing their "outrage" at the decision and praising the "moral courage" of three state workers who accused former Democratic state Rep. John Arnold of sexual harassment. But they did not approve a resolution officially honoring the women because of concerns it could be interpreted as interfering in a pending lawsuit. Two of the women have sued Arnold and the Legislative Ethics Commission in state court.

While the changes passed 98-0, House Republicans used the opportunity to skewer their Democratic colleagues - who control the house with an eight-seat majority - for not doing something sooner. State employees Cassaundra Cooper, Yolanda Costner and Gloria Morgan all filed ethics complaints last year alleging Arnold touched them inappropriately over a four year period. Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo appointed a special committee to investigate the charges, but that committee disbanded without taking action.

Legislation approved Monday:

-Required all commission members to attend at least half of the commission meetings in a calendar year

-Required the commission to have at least two women members and at least one minority member

-Clarified that the commission does have jurisdiction over former lawmakers

-Specifically defined sexual harassment by a lawmaker as "ethical misconduct."

And Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo called on the ethics commission to reopen the case. The three women have filed a motion asking the commission to reconsider their decision, which commission members will discuss at their meeting next month.

Juvenile Justice Bill Clears Legislature

Legislation aimed at revamping Kentucky's juvenile justice system by locking up fewer minors has been sent to Gov. Steve Beshear. The measure won final legislative approval Monday on a 30-8 vote in the Senate. Republican Sen. Whitney Westerfield says his measure will result in better outcomes for young offenders at a lower cost to taxpayers. He calls it the biggest step in reshaping Kentucky's juvenile code in decades. The bill would steer more young offenders toward community-based treatment as an alternative to detention. It aims to keep more kids out of detention centers for skipping school or running away. Its reach goes further, allowing youths accused of misdemeanors or lesser felonies to avoid detention time, unless they committed sex or weapons crimes or had one prior offense. The legislation is Senate Bill 200.

Today is the Last Day to Pay Property Taxes

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone that TODAY is the LAST DAY to pay your 2013 Property Tax bills at the Sheriff’s Office. At the end of business day today, the bills will be transferred to the County Court Clerk’s Office at the end of the business day, where additional penalties will be applied. You may pay your bills in the Sheriff’s Office, by mail, or online. To pay online, visit our website: http://sheriff.johnsoncounty.ky.gov click on the property tax link, and follow the prompts. Additionally, you may print copies of your paid 2012, and 2013 property tax bills from our website for your records. If you have any questions regarding your property taxes, please call the Sheriff’s Office at 789-3411.