Local News 3-11-2013

KSP Investigating Domestic Disturbance in Pike Co.

According to a news release from the KSP in Pikeville, on Thursday March 7, 2013 Post 9 Pikeville received a Domestic Disturbance complaint in the Sidney community of Pike County. Kentucky State Police Trooper Jimmy Nolte responded to the complaint. While enroute Tpr. Nolte was notified that the parties had left the residence. Tpr. Nolte was given a vehicle description and shortly after he located the vehicle and parties involved. Tpr. Nolte made contact with Jonathan Thornsbury 29 years old of Sidney, Ky. as he was exiting a business and inquired about the disturbance. Further investigation by Tpr. Nolte revealed a unresponsive female in the vehicle operated by Thornsbury. EMS responded to the location and transported the female to Pikeville Medical Center where she was admitted into ICU for her injuries. Thornsbury was arrested at the scene on unrelated charges and transported and lodged in the Pike County Detention Center. A follow up investigation by Detective Jimmy Anderson led to charges filed on Thornsbury for 1 count Attempted Murder, 1 count Rape 1st Degree and 1 count of Sodomy 1st Degree. This incident remains under investigation by KSP Detective Jimmy Anderson.

KSP Investigating Fatal Collision Greenup County

According to a seperate news release from the KSP, State Police Post 14 Ashland is investigating a two vehicle collision that occurred on US 23 at the intersection of The Grant Bridge in Greenup County , KY. The collision occurred around 155 PM today. Benjamin R. Johnston, age 27, of Portsmouth, OH was operating a 2012 Jonway Moped travelling Southbound on US 23 and attempting to turn left onto the Grant Bridge.  Jamie Miller, age 44, of Portsmouth , OH was travelling Northbound on US 23 operating a 1998 Ford Explorer.  It appears Miller failed to stop at the red light at the intersection and struck Johnston .  Drug usage is also suspected as a factor in the collision.  Johnston was transported to Southern Ohio Medical Center and was pronounced deceased at 205 PM. Miller and a juvenile passenger were wearing seat belts at the time of the collision and received no injuries. Multiple agencies responded including Greenup County Sheriff’s Department, South Shore Fire Department, KDMC EMS and Portsmouth Police Department. Any charges are pending completion of the investigation. The Collision remains under investigation by Trooper Nathan Carter.

Morehead State Student Murdered; Boyfriend Charged

A case of domestic violence took a deadly turn for a Morehead State student. Cassie Owens, 21, was a sophomore at the university. She lived in a mobile home along Christian Street near campus with her boyfriend, 26-year-old Casey Shay. Thursday afternoon, Morehead police say Shay went to the Rowan County Detention Center and confessed he shot and killed his girlfriend. He is now charged with her murder. Police went to their home and found Owens in their bedroom with two gunshot wounds. The chief says Shay shot her Wednesday morning and then took a couple days to decide what to do before turning himself in. The couple had a 2-year-old daughter. Police say the daughter wasn't home at the time of the shooting. The daughter is now staying with a grandparent. No motive has been released. Shay has been charged with murder.

14 People Charged with Social Security and Health Care Fraud; Two Sentenced

Two women were sentenced in federal court for their roles in defrauding healthcare and Social Security benefit programs, according to information released Friday by the agency. Patty Justice was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to make restitution of $65,088 to the Social Security Administration (SSA). Justice was sentenced based on her Nov. 2, 2012, guilty plea regarding theft of government property. The case was initiated based on a referral from the SSA office in Pikeville, Ky. The referral alleged that Justice failed to report that she was living with and being supported by her husband, who had substantial income. The investigation determined that Justice was, in fact, living with and being supported by her husband. As a result, the SSA determined that based upon Justice's failure to report her true living arrangements and resources, she fraudulently received $65,088 in SSI benefits. Another woman, Alice Cole, was sentenced to six months in prison and three years supervised release, and was ordered to make restitution of $110,128 to the SSA and $25,998 to the commonwealth of Kentucky Medicaid program. Cole was sentenced based on her Nov. 6, 2012, guilty plea to theft of government property. This case was initiated in June 2012 based on information provided by the Prestonsburg, Ky., SSA office. The referral alleged that Cole failed to report that she was living with and being supported by her husband who had substantial pension income. The investigation determined that Cole had falsely reported a separation from her husband to SSA officials. As a result, the agency determined that based upon Cole's failure to report her true living arrangements and resources, she fraudulently received $110,128 in SSI benefits. Cole also fraudulently received $25,998 in Medicaid benefits.

Knott County Judge Executive Removed from Office

Residents in Knott County are currently without a judge-executive after a circuit judge in Floyd County removed Randy Thompson from office on Friday. Thompson, who is serving a 40-month prison sentence in Pennsylvania, was convicted by a federal jury in 2008 of using public funds to influence the 2006 general election. He began serving his sentence late last year, at which time Deputy Judge Greg Mullins began fulfilling Thompson’s duties as county judge. Floyd County Commonwealth’s Attorney Brent Turner, acting on behalf of the commonwealth, filed a lawsuit last month to remove Thompson from office based on his status as a convicted felon. Thompson filed a response in an attempt to dismiss the suit, though his attempt was ultimately unsuccessful when a judge’s ruling on Friday ended his tenure as judge-executive in Knott County. The vacancy left from Thompson’s removal will be filled by Gov. Steve Beshear, who according to state law has 30 days to appoint a new judge-executive to fulfill the remainder of Thompson’s term. The governor’s office learned of the court’s decision late Friday morning, said spokesperson Kerri Richardson. Thompson, who was initially appointed by former Gov. Ernie Fletcher in 2005, won his first full term in 2006. He was re-elected to office in 2010.

Accused Terrorist Sent to Federal Prison in Kentucky

According to reports, an Iraqi man has been sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to terrorism charges has been assigned to a high-security facility in Kentucky. The federal Bureau of Prisons lists 25-year-old Mohamad Shareef Hammadi as an inmate at the United States Penitentiary-Big Sandy in Inez.  A co-defendant, 32-year-old Waad Ramadan Alwan, received a 40-year sentence in January. Alwan had not been sent to a prison as of Saturday. Hammadi and Alwan pleaded guilty in 2011 and 2012 to ship thousands in cash, machine guns, rifles, grenades and shoulder-fired missiles to al-Qaida in Iraq in 2010 and 2011. Prosecutors said the two were working with a confidential informant. Both were arrested in May 2011 in Bowling Green after a federal sting operation.

37 Student Hikers Rescued In Letcher Co.

Thirty-seven students from a Pennsylvania college were rescued Friday morning after they were lost for more than eight hours overnight, in Jefferson National Forest, in Letcher County. According to Chief Tony Fugate, with Mayking Volunteer Fire Department, the students left to hike a trail to the popular lookout spot, Branch Falls, around 3:30 Thursday afternoon. They soon got turned around. The 37 college students are from La Salle University in Philadelphia. They are here on spring break, building Habitat for Humanity houses. Around seven o'clock, hours after starting the hike, one of them used a cell phone to call 911. It's estimated the students were a couple miles deep into the woods. Fugate was part of the search team sent to find them: After seven hours of looking, rescuers found a note written in the snow. It said, "Keep Going." Fugate says they knew they were close. Around 3:30 Friday morning, more than eight hours after the first 911 call, the students were found. All the students returned to Pennsylvania on Saturday.