Tuesday, May 08, 2001

Kentucky Digest

Man denies charges in shooting of girl

The Associated Press

        DRY RIDGE — A 15-year-old girl killed in Grant County was struck by a bullet fired by a man during a party, witnesses have told police.

        Investigators are still sorting through the accounts of the Friday night shooting that killed Tammy Rhea Vickers.

        Ms. Vickers was at a field party at a friend's house on Arnold's Creek Road in Dry Ridge when she began walking away from a group of between 10 and 40 people, Kentucky State Police said.

        Police arrested Joseph C. Meither, 24, of Dry Ridge, and charged him with murder. He pleaded not guilty Monday in Grant District Court and is being held at Grant County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 cash bond.

        Mr. Meither's attorney, Dan Dickerson, called the shooting an accident. He said Mr. Meither was shooting his gun and didn't know Ms. Vickers was in the line of fire.

Bank fraud, murder case before court

               OWENSBORO — Opening arguments were scheduled today in the federal trial of a Texas man accused of assisting in a murder-for-hire scheme that resulted in the deaths of two men.

        Richard T. Dorman, 64, faces charges of conspiring to commit murder for hire in the deaths of Aaron “Jack” Norris, 77, of Robards; and James Nichols, 56, of Eva, Ala.

        U.S. District Judge Joseph McKinley heard pretrial arguments before jury selection began Monday.

        Mr. Norris' body was found Feb. 3, 1999 in a barn behind his residence. Mr. Nichols' body was located in a van on Feb. 8 that had been partially driven into an abandoned rock quarry. His mother was also found in the van, but she survived.

        Two others have also been charged in the case.

        Billy J. Lyon, 21, of Henderson, and Charles L. Stewart, 56, of Eva, Ala., are to stand trial on the federal charge of conspiracy to commit murder for hire. .

        A federal grand jury indictment said Mr. Dorman and Mr. Stewart were partners in a bank fraud scheme. Mr. Stewart was responsible for targeting individuals with a lot of money and then would allegedly pass on the information to Mr. Lyon and his father Larry Lyon, 42, of Henderson.

        The Lyonses were responsible for murdering the victims and stealing their identification, cash, checks and some personal property, the indictment said.

        Mr. Dorman would then sell the property or withdraw funds from the victim's bank account, the indictment said.

        Larry Lyon killed himself as Henderson police were trying to arrest him.

        Mr. Dorman has pleaded guilty to two counts of bank fraud.

Despite shootings, Derby week went well

               LOUISVILLE — Louisville Mayor Dave Armstrong said Monday that he's been receiving calls from citizens and business owners on the west end applauding police efforts that allowed for safer cruising and a better Derby weekend.

        “I think we really shined this weekend,” Mr. Armstrong said.

        Despite a shooting Saturday night in which two Cincinnati men were injured, Louisville police said Derby Weekend was an improvement over past years.

        “Overall, this particular Derby went better than it has in the past,” said Louisville Police Chief Greg Smith.

        Chief Smith said that from Thunder of Louisville to Sunday night, police made only 80 physical arrests and 18 citation arrests at Derby related events.

        Two Cincinnati men were injured in a shooting at 10 p.m. Saturday, at 17th and Broadway. Rasu Salaam, 27, was shot in the pelvis, and James McCurdy, 27, was shot in the right arm and leg. Mr. Salaam was in fair condition Monday afternoon at University of Louisville Hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said. Mr. McCurdy was treated and released.

United Methodists erect office center

               LOUISVILLE — Kentucky United Methodists will break ground Wednesday for a $3.2 million office and meeting complex at the Kavanaugh Life Enrichment Center in Oldham County.

        The United Methodist Church's Kentucky Annual Conference — as the state jurisdiction is known — will relocate from its offices in eastern Jefferson County after completion of the project, expected by next spring.

        The 54-acre Kavanaugh center, founded 126 years ago as a Methodist camp.

Poisonous berries lead to lawsuit

        KISSIMMEE, Fla. — A Kentucky man picked golden berries from trees at a Florida resort, ate them and went back for more, his family says.

        Henry Elrod II even took a big bagful home to Frankfort, and ate them, too, a family attorney says. Five days later, he died.

        Mr. Elrod's death certificate lists the cause as multiple organ failure from “voluntary ingestion of China berries.”

        Mr. Elrod's widow, Cynthia, and sons are suing Star Island Resorts, its parent company First Continental Corp., and nearly two dozen other companies, including the landscaper, saying warnings should have been posted that the berries were poisonous.

        “We believe the property owners and people who maintain that property should have known chinaberry trees produce a colorful berry that is an attractive fruit to someone from another area,” attorney Clay Mitchell said. “There should have been a warning that the berries were poisonous at the very least.”

Knife attack leaves eight hurt at store

        LEXINGTON — At least eight people were injured at a Wal-Mart store when a customer pulled a knife and “began flailing” at people in the store, officials said.

        “It was a very strange affair,” said Wal-Mart spokesman Tom Williams. “It happened very quickly and was over very quickly.”

        Jorge Soto Luke, 32, of Lexington, has been charged with five counts of assault and is being held at the Fayette County Detention Center.

        Early Sunday, a man allegedly set the security buzzer off as he was leaving the North Park store, Mr. Williams said.

        “Nobody tried to stop him and he kept going,” Mr. Williams said. “But then he came back in and started fighting with people and attacking them.”

        As many as eight people were injured, Mr. Williams said. Employees managed to hold the suspect until police arrived, he said.

        Four of the injured were Wal-Mart employees.

        At least two and possibly four customers also received minor injuries, Mr. Williams said.


Roach Indictment Coverage
Officer indicted on least serious charge
Church helps keep calm
Tristaters reactions split
What makes charge a misdemeanor
Prosecutor: Jury did right thing
Federal scrutiny of police expands
Roach 'by-the-book' sort of cop
Police ready, just in case
Closures keep Main St. quiet
Cops with riot experience warn: Be prepared
RADEL: A call for change
Details of the shooting
Luken's re-election chances might be enhanced
Media's aim: Cover situation without inflaming it
Text of prosecutor's statement on the indictment
Time line of events
Archive of riot coverage
Photo galleries

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- Kentucky Digest
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