Thursday police news 0925

September 25, 2003

12 marijuana plants found

STANFORD - The Lincoln County Sheriff's Department said 12 marijuana plants were found Tuesday on a Lincoln County farm, thanks to a phone tip.

According to Sheriff Shelby Lakes, the office received information from a citizen Tuesday about marijuana hidden between hay bales at a farm on Ky. 328. The names of the caller and farm owner were not released.

Lakes said he has no suspects.

Police investigate stolen truck

Danville police investigated the theft of a pickup truck Wednesday. Ed Hinkle, 209 Baughman Ave., reported the theft of his red, 1990 Nissan truck with a camper top at 9 a.m.


Jabez man killed; another man charged

JABEZ - A Russell County man died Wednesday night from a single gunshot wound to the chest, state police said.

Brandy Oakes, 28, of Jabez, was pronounced dead at the scene by the Russell County coroner.

Richard Smith, of Faubush, was arrested and charged with murder, according to Detective Billy Gregory. Smith was lodged in the Russell County Detention Center.

Gregory and the Russell County Sheriff's Department are investigating.

Trooper faces no charges in fatal crash

MAYFIELD (AP) - A Graves County jury agreed that a state police trooper should not face criminal charges in connection with a Christmas Eve wreck in which an 88-year-old woman died.

The jury reviewed the case against Trooper Brian Duvall this week. The jury said there would be no criminal charges brought against the 22-year-old officer.

"I definitely believe it was negligence, but not criminal," Graves Commonwealth Attorney David Hargrove said. "It's better handled in civil court than criminal court."

Hargrove has said that Duvall was involved in an "unfortunate accident."

Mabel Hopkins, of Water Valley, was killed when Duvall's cruiser hit a patch of ice on a bridge in the northbound lane of the Purchase Parkway. The trooper's car crossed the median and struck a car driven by Billy R. Pirtle, Hopkins' son-in-law. Pirtle, 67, and his wife, Jane, 67, of Water Valley, were injured. Hopkins died from her injuries.

Hargrove said the grand jury considered reckless homicide charges against Duvall, who had been a trooper less than a year at the time of the wreck.

"Normally, I would not take this in front of the grand jury," Hargrove said. But because it involved a state agency, Hargrove said he thought it was "prudent to have 12 people give me their opinion."

The jury discussed the case about 30 minutes before returning the no true bill.

Somerset woman killed in truck collision

RICHMOND, Ind. (AP) - Two tractor-trailers collided and burst into flames Wednesday on Interstate 70, killing both drivers and stalling traffic for hours, police said.

One of the semitrailers apparently crossed the median into the eastbound lanes and crashed head-on with the other truck, causing an explosion, the Indiana State Police said.

"Both trucks were a total inferno," Trooper Eric Bryson said. "Fire was probably shooting up 50 to 60 feet, and smoke 80 to 90 to 100 feet."

The drivers of the two trucks were dead at the scene. The driver of the truck that crossed the median was identified as Timothy R. Gordon, 29, of Ogdensburg, N.Y. The driver of the other semitrailer, a Mayflower Van Lines truck, was Deborah J. Hyden, 29, of Somerset, Ky.

The Mayflower truck was left a burned-out shell.

The highway was closed in both directions because of the crash, which occurred shortly after noon about 15 miles west of the Indiana-Ohio state line.

Westbound lanes were reopened after about three hours, and one eastbound lane was reopened late Wednesday night.

Investigators were unsure what caused Gordon's truck to cross the median, Bryson said.

Investigators look at

crib in child's death

INDEPENDENCE (AP) - Investigators are looking at a crib that they think may have helped cause the death of an 8-month-old girl at a day-care center in Independence.

Autopsy results showed that Leah Gabrielle Roark suffocated when her head became trapped between the slats of a decades-old crib at Roni's Daylight & Nightlight Child Care.

Kenton County Coroner David Suetholz said the slats of the crib were too widely spaced for current child care safety standards. He said the child's head became lodged in between them, and it kept her from breathing.

"There were ridges in the child's scalp, as well as a ridge in front," Suetholz said. "... she ended up dying from positional asphyxiation."

The owners of the day-care center said Wednesday that state investigators have approved their cribs since they opened and have ordered them to take the crib bumpers out of the cribs.

"In our nursery, we were told over the past from different inspectors that our cribs were safe. We were told to remove the bumper pads from all cribs. They thought a baby could suffocate," said Jim Rogers, who with his wife, Revonna, operates the center at their home.|9/24/03***

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