Owens gets day in jail, pays for damages on assault charge

February 20, 2004|Emily Burton

MOUNT VERNON - Tommy Owens, Stanford businessman indicted for the 2002 assault of a Stanford police officer, entered an Alford plea of guilty this week. His plea does not admit guilt, but that the prosecution could prove it in a trial.

"He admitted that there was sufficient proof that a jury would find him guilty of assault," said assistant Commonwealth's Attorney David Dalton.

Owens, 60, was accused of two counts of third-degree assault after he struck two Stanford police officers during a domestic dispute in 2002.

According to police reports, the officers responded to a 911 call at 118 Portman Ave. Feb. 26, 2002, stating that a woman was locked in the bathroom and Owens was kicking at the door. Upon arrival, the officers reported that Owens screamed for them to leave.


His wife allegedly ran from the bathroom to unlock the door, at which point Owens "drew back his hand to strike her," reported police.

As they came through the door, Owens threw a plastic cup at them, striking an officer in the face.

Owens reportedly was violent and combative, so pepper spray was used. After being placed in the cruiser Owens kicked the glass out of the passenger side door.

He appeared before Judge William Cain in Rockcastle Circuit Court in January, where a trial date of March 15 was set. The case had been moved to Rockcastle County after an impartial jury in Lincoln County could not be found.

Owens' plea was entered this week during a hearing scheduled by the assistant commonwealth's attorney to collect the statements of Owens' wife and child.

Under the plea bargain, the felony charges were merged and reduced to one count of fourth-degree assault, a misdemeanor.

If convicted of a felony Owens could have been sentenced up to five years.

The prosecution received the approval of the officers involved in the altercation before accepting the deal.

"I felt comfortable making the plea agreement given that the victims signed off on it," said Dalton.

Owens was sentenced to jail time already served for the assault, one night, and ordered to pay $150 for damages done to the patrol car.

The case had been sealed and the attorneys placed under a gag order briefly on Tuesday, on motions made by defense attorney Jerry J. Cox.

Judge Cain reversed his decision early Wednesday morning.

Owens' countersuit against the officers, police department, city and mayor is still pending. Dalton did not speculate how the judgment would affect the multi-million dollar civil suit.

Central Kentucky News Articles