KY SEAL 2
Sanders

From the Office of:

ROB SANDERS
COMMONWEALTH'S ATTORNEY
16th Judicial Circuit - Kenton County, KY 

 

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This Week in Kenton Circuit Court...
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Issue #210February 17, 2012
Greetings Kenton County!
 
The men and women of the Commonwealth's Attorney Office are always working hard to keep Kenton County safe.  This newsletter is intended to keep all interested parties up to date on the latest in prosecution and law enforcement news.  If you have any questions or would like additional information about the cases you see in this email, please call (859) 292-6580 or email the Commonwealth's Attorney Office at robsanders@kentonprosecutor.com .
 
Guilty Verdict

Commonwealth v. James WilloughbyJames Willouby

Judge: Bartlett

Prosecutor: Casey Burns

Police: Kenton County

 

On November 18, 2010, Kenton County Police Officer Scott Hardcorn was on patrol in Southern Kenton County when he spotted a '97 Jeep Cherokee on Dixie Hwy.  A computer check of the license plate indicated the owner of the Jeep did not have insurance so Hardcorn conducted a traffic stop at the Shamrock Inn.  Hardcorn recognized the driver as James Willoughby, a suspected Methamphetamine trafficker, from the officer's prior service on the NKY Drug Strike Force (NKDSF).  Hardcorn also spotted a coffee grinder in the back seat.  While Willoughby rummaged through the car looking for a card to the insurance the computer said he didn't have, Hardcorn contacted Sgt. Brett Benton and informed him of the stop.  Benton, also a former NKDSF agent, contacted current NKDSF Agent Mike Kappes who ran Willoughby and his passenger through the "Meth Check" computer that tracks the sale of psuedoephedrine (PSE) products.  Meth Check indicated that Willoughby and his passenger had both just purchased PSE tablets at different stores in Walton and Dry Ridge.  Suspecting Willoughby had just purchased PSE to make meth, Benton responded to assist Hardcorn. 

Benton and Hardcorn asked Willoughby to step out of the car.  The officers questioned him about purchasing PSE tablets.  Willoughby denied and recent PSE purchases and said he couldn't remember the last time he bought PSE tablets.  When Hardcorn said he knew Willoughby purchased PSE tablets from the Dry Ridge Wal Mart earlier in the day, Willoughby suddenly remembered purchasing the tablets and claimed it was because he was cathcing a cold.  Hardcorn requested and received consent to search from Willoughby.  Hardcorn first found a bag of suspected meth in Willoughby's front pocket.  Willoughby denied knowing the meth was in his pocket or how it got there.  Hardcorn found a second bag of suspected meth sticking out of Willoughby's underwear.  Again, Willoughby denied knowledge of the bag or how it got in his underwear.  Inside the car, officers located the grinder and plastic tubing with suspected meth residue.

Hardcorn questioned the female passenger who denied any knowledge of manufacturing meth but admitted that Willoughby paid her $50 to purchase PSE tablets for him at the Kroger in Walton.  The woman said she suspected Willoughby was making meth because it would be the only reason to pay her to purchase PSE for him.  She also said she and Willoughby smoked meth two days prior.  Willoughby was arrested and charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance 1st Degree (Meth) and Manufacturing Meth.

Willoughby was indicted by the Kenton County Grand Jury for the same charges in January, 2011.  In April, 2011, Sgt. Benton's deposition was taken because the veteran officer was leaving for Afghanistan to train the country's new police force.  After multiple continuances and other delays, the case was called for trial before Kenton Circuit Judge Gregory Bartlett on February 7, 2012.  Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Casey Burns presented testimony from Hardcorn and Kappes, including a video produced by the NKDSF showing the volatilty of a meth lab and a meth lab explosion.  The video taped deposition of Benton's testimony was also played.  The defense stipulated to the lab testing of the meth and admitted Willoughby possessed meth but denied manufacturing the drug.  After an unusually short, one day trial, the jury convicted Willoughby of both possessing and manufacturing meth and recommended a ten year sentence.  Final sentencing is set for March 26, 2012.

This case was important because it was Kenton County's first Manufacturing Meth case to go to trial but even more special because of the videotaped testimony of Sgt.Brett Benton.  Just weeks after being deployed to Afghanistan, Benton was tragically killed when an IED exploded near the vehicle in which he was riding.  Benton's death hit NKY law enforcement hard.  Benton was well liked and well respected by everyone he met.  He is survived by his wife, Bethany.  To read more about Benton's involvement in this case, click here.
Guilty Verdict

Commonwealth v. Michael KiddMichael Kidd

Judge: Bartlett

Prosecutor: Rob Sanders

Police: Erlanger

 

On March 10, 2011, a female RN left her job at a local hospital and headed home to Crescent Springs. On her way, she stopped in Kremer's Market, a popular local grocery store on Buttermilk Pike. She noticed a man in a hooded jacket sitting on a bench outside but continued on to her car. After loading the groceries in the passenger side, she walked around the back of the car, only to be confronted by the man who was now wielding a knife and demanding her car. The woman threw her keys at the robber as she backed away. He continued towards her, now demanding her purse which she also threw.

The woman ran into Kremer's screaming for help as the man sped away in her 2005 Subaru. Kremer's staff called 911. As the call was dispatched, three Erlanger Police officers were finishing their dinner at Subway on Hazelwood Drive, just off Buttermilk. One officer went to the market while the others set up surveillance on Buttermilk. Detective Jeff Miles was stationairy on the Sunoco gas station parking lot when he spotted the Subaru. Miles fell in behind the car as it entered I75 North and confirmed the license plates with his dispatch center. Miles tried to wait for back up to arrive but the car sped quickly towards Ohio so he initiated a traffic stop as they passed Kyles Lane. Despite heavy traffic, wet roads, darkness, and falling snow, the robber ignored the blue lights and siren and sped faster down the cut in the hill. Just before crossing into Ohio, the car cut across three lanes of traffic onto the 5th Street exit in Covington. Miles gave chase. After passing two cars on the single lane exit, the robber then stopped the car in the middle of the exit and ran on foot.

Miles also exited his car and gave chase on foot through Goebel Park towards the clock tower. By this time, Covington Police were responding to assist. Miles chased the robber to the former NKY Convention & Visitors Bureau where the he scaled a fence but then fell to the ground and stopped. Miles directed Covington Officer Ryan Eldridge to the other side of the fence where Michael Kidd was arrested at gunpoint. Eldridge searched Kidd and located several credit cards, six $1 bills, and the victim's iPhone in Kidd's pockets. Kidd also had a pair of black gloves used in the robbery. Kidd was charged with Robbery 1st Degree and Fleeing Police 1st Degree.

Miles responded back to the stolen car and found the knife used in the robbery on the floor board of the car. Miles also went back to Kremer's and collected security video from 3 cameras that caught parts of the carjacking on tape. Several days later, the victim picked Kidd out of a photo-lineup as well.

Kidd was indicted for Robbery 1st and Fleeing Police 1st by the Kenton County Grand Jury, who also added a Persistent Felony Offender 1st Degree (PFO1) charge. Kidd's case was called to trial before Kenton Circuit Judge Gregory Bartlett on Tuesday, December 6, 2011. Commonwealth's Attorney Rob Sanders presented testimony from Miles, Eldridge, Erlanger Officer Natasha Humphrey, the robbery victim, and two Kremer's employees, over the course of the two day trial. Defense attorneys, facing overwhelming evidence of their client's guilt, conceded Kidd was guilty of 2nd Degree Robbery but denied the knife was his and asked the jury to find him not guilty of 1st Degree Robbery.

After just over two hours of deliberations, the jury returned a verdict convicting Kidd of Robbery 1st and Fleeing Police 1st. The jury then heard testimony about five prior felonies from five different Kentucky Counties on Kidd's record. After another two hours of deliberations, the jury then recommended a 32 year prison sentence for Kidd. Sanders said all the credit for the win was owed to excellent police work. "Jeff's a great cop and a thorough detective. I actually used the Power Point presentation he did for me as my closing argument and it was very effective!"

On February 13, 2012, Kidd appeared before the Court for formal, final sentencing.  Defense counsel argued for a lower sentence than recommended by the jury.  Sanders highlighted Kidd's extensive record, the dangerous nature of this case, andemphasized the terror Kidd's victim went through.  After arguments Judge Bartlett followed the jury's recommendation and sentenced Kidd to 32 years in prison, calling it an "appropriate sentence."

Sanders also said the case highlights Kentucky's need for sentencing reform. "Kentucky keeps letting felons out of prison faster and faster, long before they have learned their lessons. This guy should never have been on the streets to begin with!" said Sanders. This time, however, Kidd won't be so lucky as he must now serve at least 20 years before being parole eligible.

To see news coverage of this case, including an interview with the Robbery victim, click here.

 

Guilty Pleas & Sentencing

Commonwealth v. Melissa MeierMelissa Meier
Judge: Summe
Prosecutor: Megan Mersch
Police Agency: Covington 

  

On 2/13/12 Meier pled guilty to 2 counts of Assault 3rd Degree. Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Megan Mersch is recommending a sentence of 2 years probated for 3 years. Final sentencing is set for 3/27/12.

Commonwealth v.Rodney BrownfieldRodney Brownfield
Judge: Summe
Prosecutor: Noah Wentz
Police Agency: Kenton Co. Sheriff

On 2/13/12 Brownfield pled guilty to 2 counts of Wanton Endangerment and Fleeing and Evading Police. Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Noah Wentz is recommending a 2 year prison sentence. Final sentencing is set for 3/27/12.

Commonwealth v. Robert IlesRobert Iles
Judge: Summe
Prosecutor: Joseph Meadows
Police Agency: Taylor Mill

On 2/13/12 Iles pled guilty to Possession of a Controlled Substance (heroin).Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Joe Meadows is recommending that Iles, who has no felony record, be ordered into the felony diversion program for 2 years. Final sentencing is set for 3/27/12.

Commonwealth v. Willie TireyWillie Tirey
Judge: Summe
Prosecutor: James Redwine
Police Agency: Taylor Mill 

  

On 2/13/12 Tirey pled guilty to Wanton Endangerment. 1st Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Redwine is recommending that Tirey, who has no felony record, be ordered into the felony diversion program for 5 years. Final sentencing is set for 3/27/12.
 
Commonwealth v. Rosemary ArmentiRosemary Armenti  
Judge: Sheehan 
Prosecutor: Joseph Meadows
Police Agency: CAO

On 2/13/12 Armanti pled guilty to Engaging in Conduct to Corrupt the Outcome of Charitable Gaming. Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Joe Meadows is recommending that Armanti, who has no felony record, be ordered into the felony diversion program for 2 years. Final sentencing is set for 3/12/12.

  

Commonwealth v. Jonathan HallJonathan Hall
Judge:  Sheehan 
Prosecutor: Leanne Beck
Police Agency: Covington

On 2/13/12 Hall pled guilty to Robbery 2nd Degree. Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Leanne Beck is recommending a 6 year prison sentence. Final sentencing is set for 3/12/12.

  

Commonwealth v. Christina Cole Christina Cole
Judge:Bartlett 
Prosecutor: Joseph Meadows
Police Agency: Kenton Co. Police

On 2/13/12 Cole pled guilty to Possession of a Controlled Substance (heroin). Cole faces 1-3 years at sentencing. Final sentencing is set for 3/26/12.

 

Commonwealth v. Jamie HoltJamie Holt

Judge: Bartlett

Prosecutor: Joseph Meadows

Police Agency: Covington

 

On 2/16/12 Holt pled guilty to Possession of a Controlled Substance (heroin). Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Joe Meadows is recommending at 1 1/2 year prison sentence. Final sentencing is set for 3/26/12.   

Commonwealth v.  Kevin GriffinKevin Griffin 
Judge: Bartlett 
Prosecutor: Megan Mersch .
Police Agency: Kenton Co. Police


On 1/11/12 Griffin pled guilty to Receiving Stolen Property (>$500). Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Megan Mersch recommended a sentence of 3 years probated for 3 years. On 2/13/12 Griffin was sentenced to 3 years probated for 3 years.  
Commonwealth v.  Kenneth CraseKenneth Crase
Judge: Bartlett 
Prosecutor: James Redwine
Po
lice Agency: Elsmere

On 12/9/11 Crase pled guilty to Stalking. 1st Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Redwine recommended a 5 year prison sentence. On 2/13/12 Crase was sentenced to 5 years in prison.
 

Commonwealth v. Harrison GalliherHarrison Galliher

Judge: Bartlett 

Prosecutor: Casey Burns 

Police Agency: Covington 

  

On 11/3/11 Galliher pled guilty to 3 counts of Trafficking in a Controlled Substance (cocaine). Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Casey Burns recommended a 2 1/2 year prison sentence. On 2/13/12 Galliher was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison. 

     

Commonwealth v. Ryan HicksRyan HIcks

Judge:Barlett

Prosecutor: Casey Burns 

Police Agency: Covington

  

On 1/9/12 Hicks pled guilty to Trafficking in Marijuana, subsequent offender. Hicks faced 1-5 years in prison at sentencing. On 2/13/12 Hicks was sentenced to 3 years probated for 3 years, serve 6 months in jail.  

  

Commonwealth v. Samantha SeiglerSamanta Seigler

Judge: Bartlett 

Prosecutor: Joseph Meadows        

Police Agency: Independence

  

On 1/11/12 Seigler pled guilty to Possession of a Controlled Substance (oxycodone). Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Joe Meadows recommended that Seigler, who has no felony record, be ordered into the felony diversion program for 3 years. On 2/13/12 Seigler was ordered into the felony diversion program for 3 years. 

  

Commonwealth v. Brandy TimerdingBrandy Timerding 

Judge: Bartlett 

Prosecutor: Joseph Meadows     

Police Agency: CAO

  

On 1/11/12 Timerding pled guilty to Bailjumping. Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Joe Meadows recommended a 1 1/2 year prison sentence. On 2/13/12 Timerding was sentenced 1 years probated for 3 years.  

 

Commonwealth v. Franklin HinkstonFranklin HInkston  

Judge: Bartlett 

Prosecutor: Casey Burns    

Police Agency: Covington

   

On 12/9/11 Hinkston pled guilty to 3 counts of Trafficking in Marijuana, subsequent offender. Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Casey Burns recommended a 3 year prison sentence. On 2/13/12 Hinkston was sentenced to 3 years probated for 5 years, serve 6 months in jail. 

 

Commonwealth v. Chad NeaceChad Neace      

Judge: Bartlett

Prosecutor: Noah Wentz 

Police Agency: Independence

  

On 1/11/12 Neace pled guilty to Theft (>$500). Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Noah Wentz recommended that Neace, who has no felony record, be ordered into the felony diversion program for 3 years. On 2/13/12 Neace was ordered into the felony diversion program for 3 years. 

 

Commonwealth v. Brandy TimerdingBrandy Timerding

Judge: Bartlett 

Prosecutor: Joseph Meadows 

Police Agency: Covington    

  

On 5/26/11 Timerding pled guilty to Possession of a Controlled Substance (heroin). Timerding faced 1-3 years at sentencing. On 2/13/12 Timerding was sentenced to 3 years probated for 3 years. 

 

Commonwealth v.  Juwaun BlackJuwaun Black

Judge: Sheehan 

Prosecutor: Noah Wentz 

Police Agency: Covington  

  

On 1/4/12 Black pled guilty to Fleeing and Evading Police. Black faced 1-5 years at sentencing. On 2/13/12 Black was sentenced to 1 1/2 years probated for 3 years.  

 

Commonwealth v.Ronny StutesRonny Stutes

Judge: Summe

Prosecutor: Rob Sanders 

Police Agency: Ft. Wright 

  

On 1/9/12 Stutes pled guilty to Theft (>$500) and Persistent Felony Offender 1st Degree. Commonwealth's Attorney Rob Sanders recommended a 20 year prison sentence. On 2/14/12 Stutes was sentenced to 20 years in prison. 

 

Commonwealth v. Scott TurnerScott Turner  

Judge: Summe

Prosecutor: James Redwine 

Police Agency: Covington  

  

On 11/28/11 Turner pled guilty to 2 counts of Robbery 2nd Degree.1st Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Redwine recommended a 5 year prison sentence. On 2/14/12 Turner was sentenced to 5 years in prison.  

 

Commonwealth v. Donald SmithDonald Smith   

Judge: Summe

Prosecutor: Casey Burns     

Police Agency: Covington

  

On 1/9/12 Smith pled guilty to Trafficking in a Controlled Substance (cocaine). Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Casey Burns recommended a 12 year prison sentence. On 2/14/12 Smith was sentenced to 12 years in prison. 

   

Commonwealth v. David WoodsDavid Woods   

Judge: Summe

Prosecutor: James Redwine 

Police Agency: Covington

  

On 11/21/11 Woods pled guilty to Wanton Endangerment and Possession of a Handgun by a Convicted Felon.1st Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Redwine recommended a 6 1/2 year prison sentence. On 2/14/12 Woods was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison. 

 

Commonwealth v. Marquez MooreMarquez Moore

Judge: Summe

Prosecutor: James Redwine   

Police Agency: Covington  

  

On 1/9/12 Moore pled guilty to Possession of a Handgun by a Convicted Felon. 1st Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Redwine recommended an 8 year prison sentence. On 2/14/12 Moore was sentenced to 8 years in prison. 

   

Commonwealth v. Rahman Nisbett Rahman Nisbett  

Judge:Summe

Prosecutor:  Casey Burns  

Police Agency: NKY Drug Strike Force 

  

On 12/12/11 Nisbett pled guilty to Trafficking in a Controlled Substance (oxycodone). Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Casey Burns recommended a 1 1/2 year prison sentence. On 2/14/12 Nisbett was sentenced to 2 years probated for 5 years. 

 

Commonwealth v. Paula Faehr    

Judge: Summe Paula Faehr

Prosecutor: Casey Burns   

Police Agency: Covington 

  

On 1/9/12 Faehr pled guilty to 2 counts of Trafficking in a Controlled Substance (oxycodone). Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Casey Burns recommended a 2 1/2 year prison sentence. On 2/14/12 Faehr was sentenced to 5 years probated for 5 years. 

 

Commonwealth v. Brianne EhlingerBrianne Ehlinger  

Judge: Summe 

Prosecutor: Casey Burns   

Police Agency: Park Hills 

  

On 1/17/12 Ehlinger pled guilty Possession of a Controlled Substance (heroin) and Wanton Endangerment. Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Casey Burns recommended a 1 year prison sentence. On 2/14/12 Ehlinger was sentenced to 1 year in prison.

 

Commonwealth v. Steven OffillSteve Offill

Judge: Summe 

Prosecutor: Noah Wentz  

Police Agency: Electronic Monitoring 

  

On 1/17/12 Offill pled guilty to Escape 2nd Degree. Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Noah Wentz recommended a 1 year prison sentence. On 2/14/12 Offill was sentenced to 1 year

in prison.

 

Commonwealth v. Timothy CooperTimothy Cooper  

Judge: Summe 

Prosecutor: Noah Wentz 

Police Agency: Covington 

  

On 12/5/11 Cooper pled guilty to Burglary 3rd Degree. Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Noah Wentz recommended a 3 year prison sentence. On 2/14/12 Cooper was sentenced to 3 years probated for 5 years.    

 

Commonwealth v. Matthew Gallicchio Matthew Gallicchio

Judge: Summe 

Prosecutor: Alysha McKinney 

Police Agency: Covington 

  

On 11/21/11 Gallicchio pled guilty to Burglary 2nd Degree and Possession of a Controlled Substance (heroin). Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Alysha McKinney recommended a 5 year prison sentence. On 2/14/12 Gallicchio was sentenced to 5 years in prison.

 

Commonwealth v. George PleasantGeorge Pleasant 

Judge: Summe 

Prosecutor: Casey Burns   

Police Agency: Covington 

  

On 1/9/12  Pleasant pled guilty to 2 counts of Trafficking in a Controlled Substance (cocaine). Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Casey Burns recommended a 2 1/2 year prison sentence. On 2/14/12 Pleasant was sentenced to 3 years probated for 5 years.   

 

Commonwealth v. Leonard RiceLeonard Rice  

Judge: Summe 

Prosecutor: Casey Burns   

Police Agency: Covington 

  

On 1/9/12 Rice pled guilty to 2 counts of Trafficking in a Controlled Substance (unspecified). Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Casey Burns recommended a 2 1/2 year prison sentence. On 2/14/12 Rice was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison.  

 

  

 
 
  
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WANTED - Failure to Appear



Samantha TurnerSamantha Turner
Newport, KY
Bond:$2,500
Original Charge(s):
Possession of a Controlled Substance (heroin)

 

 

 

 

 

Jerry SargentJerry Sargent

unknown

Bond: $5,003

Original Charge(s):

Flagrant Non Support

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geoffrey PayneGeoffrey Payne

Covington, KY

Bond: $10,003

Original Charge(s):

Burglary 2nd Degree

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calista PhillipsCalista Phillips

Latonia, KY

Bond:$5,000

Original Charge(s):

Theft of Stolen Credit Card

Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card 

 

 

 

 

 

**Confirm all warrants before arrest!**

Other Law Enforcement News:

Woman Pleads Guilty to Killing Pregnant Woman to Steal Baby

 

The REAL Facts About Meth in KY

 

Independence Meth Lab Found in House With Kids

 

Lakeside Park-Crestview Hills Police Get New Chief

Thank you for taking the time to stay informed about criminal justice in Kenton County.   
 
Sincerely,
Signature
Rob Sanders
Commonwealth's Attorney Office

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