crime

Sarah Perrine

Everyone experiences prison time differently. To Sarah Perrine, who received a ten year sentence for a host of drug-related charges, it ended up being a life changing event.

She has the words "forgive" and "forget" tattooed on her neck. The motto suits her.

She's reconnecting with her daughter. She has a job at a local fast food restaurant where she recently received a promotion. And she's no longer one of the nearly 2,300 women currently in Kentucky's state prison system.

Instead, she's now part of the Southern Kentucky Reentry Council to make coming home easier for others.

If you ask her, that's all because of one moment she had while she was in solitary confinement.

Perrine describes it as "13 cells on one walk and everybody was just yelling and screaming constantly."


Cory Sharber I WKMS

Former Hopkinsville High School Band Director Jordan Seth Peveler has been indicted on four counts of rape, four counts of sodomy and unlawful transaction with a minor.

The charges are Class D Felonies. According to the indictment, the alleged acts involved a minor and occurred between June 2017 and May 2018.

The indictment describes incidents as taking place in a school instrument closet and in his home. The unlawful transaction involves providing marijuana to a minor.

marsyslaw.us

The Kentucky Supreme Court has unanimously ruled against “Marsy’s Law,” a proposal that would have enshrined a new list of rights for crime victims in the state constitution.

Kentucky voters supported the measure by a wide margin during a ballot referendum on Election Day last year, but the court ruled that the entire 553-word proposal should have been included on the ballot instead of only a 38-word summary.

The language included on last year’s ballot was established by the Marsy’s Law bill, which passed the state legislature in 2018.

TBI via Twitter

The seven people found dead in Sumner County over the weekend include the father, mother and uncle of the suspect.

The other four victims' relationship to the suspect is still unclear, authorities said at a press conference Monday morning. The suspect, 25-year-old Michael Cummins, remains in custody.

Law enforcement discovered the incident Saturday following a 911 call. They located several people dead near the small town of Westmoreland, about an hour northeast of Nashville. They also learned of a second scene nearby, where another person had been killed.

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The Office of the Kentucky Attorney General is again receiving widespread reports of a scam involving so-called “suspended” Social Security numbers.

The calls appear to come from a real phone number with the Social Security Administration.

The robocall claims the victim’s Social Security number has been suspended because of suspicious activity, and to use the number again the victim must verify it, along with other personal information.

 


Lisa Autry

For the first time since 2012, Kentuckians will vote in a referendum to amend the state Constitution. 

Voters will decide on Tuesday whether or not to approve Marsy’s Law, which would give crime victims the same rights afforded to the accused, including a voice in the judicial process. 

Some opponents say the referendum is unnecessary and could create unintended consequences.

One Monroe County woman, Teresa Huber, is a solid 'yes' vote in support of Marsy's Law.


Stephen George

Catherine Milliner’s grandson Tony died when he was four years old. Her daughter’s boyfriend was charged with murdering the toddler. And as a three-year trial unfolded, Milliner wanted to keep tabs on every step of the case, including the whereabouts of the accused.

“I got online and found out where Johnny was, the gentleman who murdered my grandson, just by accident,” Milliner said.

Milliner said VINE, Kentucky’s court notification system, failed to notify her of key changes in the case, like the defendant’s transfers between prisons.


Matt Markgraf

Prosecutors won't yet seek attempted murder charges against the 15-year-old suspect in a deadly shooting spree at Marshall County High School and will charge him with first-degree assault for now.

Assistant Marshall County Attorney Jason Darnall told reporters Wednesday that the 15-year-old boy will face 12 counts of first-degree assault instead of attempted murder because they feel they have a better case for those charges right now. Darnall pointed out that the penalties for first-degree assault are the same as for attempted murder.

Flickr/Creative Commons

For one week last spring, as Louisville led the world in mourning Muhammad Ali's death and celebrating his life, not a single person died in a hail of gunfire in the boxing great's hometown.

 

The silence was welcome in a city wrestling with an explosion of violence. Leaders hoped the cease-fire might stick — that the send-off for The Champ would mark a turning point, a city-wide reckoning with its failure to live up to Ali's legacy of respect for all human life.

 

But before sunrise the day after Ali's memorial service, shots rang out and a 20-year-old woman was dead. Then another murder. And another, resuming an extraordinary outbreak of bloodshed that has devastated Ali's hometown.

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Kentucky lawmakers will consider an extensive criminal justice reform bill next week designed to save the state money by keeping people out of jail.

The bill is the product of Gov. Matt Bevin’s Criminal Justice Policy Assessment Council, which was created last year and includes 23 state officials, lawmakers and policy advocates from around the state.

Although the legislation hasn’t been finalized, a late draft of the omnibus proposal had several major changes to the state’s criminal code, including a provision for “no money bail,” which would allow low-income Kentuckians charged with some crimes to be released from jail before trial even if they can’t afford to pay bail.

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A Kentucky lawmaker wants to establish a minimum age at which juveniles could be held legally responsible for committing crimes.

The bill would set the minimum age of 11 years old for a criminal offense. Louisville Representative and bill sponsor Darryl Owens said that young children have not fully developed their impulse control or decision making skills, making them unable to fully understand the consequences of their actions.

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State Auditor Mike Harmon says a review of the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training and the public fund that supports it has revealed unnecessary and excessive spending along with improper contracts with a public university designed to circumvent state law.

The department provides training to law enforcement officers throughout the state. It is paid for by the Kentucky Law Enforcement Foundation Program Fund, which is comprised of a 1.8 percent assessment on property and casualty insurance premiums.

Harmon said the assessment was set too high, which led to surpluses in the fund that were used for purposes other than law enforcement needs. He also said the department used a contract with Eastern Kentucky University to get around state procurement laws.

In its official response, Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary John Tilley blamed the prior administration.

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Kentucky Chief Justice John Minton Jr. says the number of expungement requests have doubled since a new law went into effect allowing some convicted felons to clear their records.

Minton told lawmakers during his annual State of the Judiciary address that the Administrative Office of the Courts has received 8,400 criminal record reports for expungement since the law went into effect on July 15. He said that number is about double the number of requests at this time last year.

Minton said the number includes requests for misdemeanors and felonies, adding officials cannot separate the two categories. But he attributes the increase in requests to the passage of the expungement bill.

HB.40 allows people convicted of certain non-violent felonies to clear their records if they have no other pending charges.

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A new poll shows Kentuckians overwhelmingly support prison time over capital punishment for people convicted of first-degree murder.

Findings from a recent poll by the University of Kentucky Survey Research Center show nearly 58 percent of people surveyed believe that lengthy prison terms, including life without parole, are preferable to the death penalty as punishment for conviction of first-degree murder.

Kentuckians also overwhelmingly support a halt to executions until problems with the state’s capital punishment system are addressed, according to the survey. More than 72 percent said they would support a decision by the governor to block executions until issues with the system could be addressed.

“It is important to note that this new poll shows that Kentuckians are increasingly concerned about the fairness of our criminal justice system,” said Marcia Milby Ridings, former president of the Kentucky Bar Association, in a news release.

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Kentucky law enforcement would have to follow new guidelines while conducting suspect lineups under a bill proposed in the General Assembly.

The legislation would tweak police procedure to try and prevent a witness’ memory of a suspect or incident from being “contaminated” by suggestion.

Jennifer Thompson, a rape survivor who misidentified her perpetrator in 1984, said it’s easy to misremember events.

“We don’t record things the way we think we record them. Our brains are so malleable, they’re so prone to suggestion. It isn’t hard to plant false information into a person’s memory,” Thompson said.

“We do it all the time, either innocently or intentionally.”

The bill would require police departments to follow four new guidelines:

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