Sunday, May 11, 2003

Police retrieve weapon from pond

Crime lab work may link it to robbery at apartment near NKU campus

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS - A gun believed used in the violent robbery of a Covington barber at the Meadowview Apartments was found Friday in a pond behind the Cold Spring Roadhouse restaurant on Alexandria Pike.

The automatic pistol was found in 5 feet of water, police said. It will be sent to the state police crime lab, where technicians hope to lift fingerprints. Investigators will also do a ballistics comparison to bullets and spent casings recovered at the scene of the robbery.

Highland Heights police searched for the gun for about two hours with the help of the Boone County and Campbell County water rescue units. Officers used specialized cameras and metal detectors.

They wouldn't say how they knew to search the pond, but the gun was found near where one suspect was arrested.

A Cincinnati man wanted for attempted murder and robbery in the May 2 shooting in Highland Heights was mistakenly released from University Hospital this week. Highland Heights police said Ohio authorities didn't serve a Kentucky warrant.

James D. Payne, 31, walked out of the hospital where he was recovering from gunshot wounds to the arm and leg, authorities said.

Payne is described as a black man, 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

Two other people implicated in the robbery are in police custody. Police said the suspects took a car and $300 cash in the robbery at Meadowview Apartments off Johns Hill Road near the Northern Kentucky University campus.

Jerry Endsley, 29, of Cincinnati was arrested by Cincinnati police Wednesday morning on charges of attempted murder and robbery.

Stephanie Hearn, 23, of Cincinnati turned herself in to Highland Heights police Wednesday night. She is charged with complicity to robbery.

Police believe there was a fourth individual involved in the robbery, but they have not released a description of that person.

Highland Heights police said Hearn lured Isaiah Young, 26, of Covington from a club on West Pete Rose Way for the purpose of robbing him.

Young was shot at least nine times in the chest, stomach and legs, but survived. He was released from the hospital Wednesday and is at home recovering.

He said his life was spared when the 10th bullet, aimed at his heart, was deflected by an ankh cross hanging around his neck.


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