Monday, January 29, 2001

Kentucky Digest


p7 Man pleads guilty in murder of relatives

The Associated Press

        GREENVILLE, Ky. — A Muhlenberg County man accused of killing four people pleaded guilty to their murders on Saturday.

        In a quiet, slightly quavering voice, Terry Todd Wedding admitted in court to killing his parents, a cousin and his cousin's pregnant wife during a late-night rampage in June 1999.

        Mr. Wedding, 29, who has been treated for bipolar disorder, told Muhlenberg Circuit Judge David Jernigan he was “guilty but mentally ill” when asked how he pleaded to each of the four slayings.

        Mr. Wedding faces life in prison without the possibility of parole for each of the four murder counts.

        Mr. Wedding is accused of killing his parents, Beverly and Todd Wedding, and his cousin and his wife, Joey and Amy Vincent, in revenge for having committed him to a short stay in Western State Hospital in Hopkinsville, Ky.
       

UK's next president got campaign help
The Associated Press

               LOUISVILLE — The University of Kentucky's next president received a push in his candidacy from some of the state's most powerful business leaders and politicians.

        The successful campaign for Lee Todd, which included calls to UK trustees in the weeks before he was chosen, points to an advantage enjoyed by in-state candidates when positions such as UK's presidency are at stake. The other finalists for the job were from out of state.

        “I don't think there's any question that that's an inherent advantage,” said Attorney General Ben Chandler, who said he spoke to several trustees on Mr. Todd's behalf. “And I don't think there's anything wrong with that.”

        Mr. Todd, a Lexington entrepreneur, was considered for the presidency after residents in Owensboro were impressed with a speech he gave at Owensboro Community College in May. Many called board of trustees chairman Billy Joe Miles to tell him Mr. Todd would make a great UK president.

        A few months later, in September, Mr. Miles told Mr. Todd that he had been nominated for the UK presidency and asked him to consider the position.
       

Freight train derails in Jefferson County
The Associated Press

               LOUISVILLE — A train carrying sport utility vehicles derailed in Jefferson County on Friday, police said.

        Six cars filled with Ford Excursion trucks left the tracks and four of those tipped on their sides, Jefferson County Police said. No information was available on damage. There were no injuries.

        The cause of the crash is under investigation by CSX Transportation, said CSX spokeswoman Jennifer Fry.

        Ms. Fry said the train had 65 cars at the time of the accident.
       

Shooting revives call for police review
The Associated Press

               LOUISVILLE — Demands that a civilian review board be created to look into complaints against police are surfacing again after the fatal shooting of a black teen this month.

        An ordinance to create the board was adopted June 13, when the Board of Aldermen overrode a veto by Mayor Dave Armstrong. But the following day, the Louisville Fraternal Order of Police asked a judge to block the ordinance.

        Now community leaders are pointing to the shooting death of 18-year-old Clifford Lewis — which followed the police shooting death of 37-year-old Rodney Abernathy in June — as another reason to form the board.

        A grand jury declined to indict the Louisville police officers involved in Mr. Abernathy's death.

        Alderwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton, who supports the ordinance, said it could take months to resolve the issue in court.

        Mr. Lewis was shot and killed Jan. 9 after he backed a minivan into a police detective, breaking the man's foot and crushing his leg. The van belonged to a cousin of Mr. Lewis who was wanted by police on charges of assaulting an officer.

        Ms. Hamilton said she's pushing to get a state legislative bill drafted that would give civilian review boards subpoena power — which would eliminate the FOP's primary argument against the ordinance.

       



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