February 20, 2017
Shooter’s Gang Membership Determined by Court
A 20-year old Lexington man has been sentenced to 10 years for second degree assault and one year for possession of cocaine. The assault victim was shot during a drug deal.
Stephon Vanzant pled guilty and was sentenced to prison earlier this month. Prior to sentencing, Vanzant challenged the Lexington Police Department’s finding that he is a member of The Westside Down Bottom Gang.
A hearing was held regarding the finding and Lexington Gang Resource Officers testified about their history with Vanzant, images they located on his social media accounts, his tattoos, and the recovery of a “Down Bottom Gang” bracelet from his person shortly before his last court hearing. Based upon the officers’ testimonies, and other evidence provided to the Court, Fayette Circuit Judge Kimberly Bunnell, found Vanzant to be a member of The Westside Down Bottom Gang. The Court relied upon the Defendant’s tattoos and the bracelet that was found in the Defendant’s possession in reaching its opinion.
Vanzant was not eligible for probation because of the firearm, but will be eligible for parole after serving 20% of his sentence. The prosecutor in the Gang Validation Hearing was Dan Laren.