by Briana Persley
As you know, the Office of the Fayette Commonwealth’s Attorney is big on service within our community. Today, I had the pleasure of representing our office at The 2nd Annual Great Shake!! This Partners for Youth sponsored program, led by Jamie Wright, of Northern Elementary School, targets the four domains of language (listening, speaking, reading, and writing), as they become more connected to the seven dimensions of wellness (physical, social, emotional, environmental, spiritual, intellectual, and financial).
Children came dressed for success and ready for a mock interview!! During interviews, myself and other community volunteers scored students on Handshake Firmness, Eye Contact, Poise, Confidence, and Je Ne Sais Quoi. To be so young, you would never guess that they could stay focused on the questions at hand, but they did. It was so nice to see children as young as six years old thinking about their futures and what career path they wanted to choose when they grow up.
Once all the interviews were complete, the scores were tallied. One young lady broke the record with a score of 207! She was awarded the 2017 Great Shake Award.
What an accomplishment!
After such a rigorous schedule of three, 10 minute interviews, the students and interviewers worked up an appetite, so lunch was served in the cafeteria. While eating, positive feedback was given about their interviews, and their table manners and conversational skills were reinforced. We finished up with a ceremony in the library where five students read their opinion pieces on, “How Can Northern Elementary School Be Improved?”, and the whole group sang us a song that focused on equality and celebration of all people.
Taking part in shaping future generations and preparing them for success was such a wonderful experience! We wish them all the best and hope that all of their hard work pays off!!
Welcome to the team, Todd Willard
Todd Willard was sworn in as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney this morning by Chief Fayette Circuit Judge Pamela Goodwine. Before becoming a prosecutor, Todd practiced in civil litigation, primarily medical malpractice defense, where he has tried several cases in state and federal courts. Todd graduated from Western Kentucky University with a degree in biochemistry and then earned his law degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law. He is originally from Oldham County, Kentucky.
Adkins was convicted by a jury of Theft by Unlawful Taking Over $10,000
On June 1, 2017, defendant Zachary Eugene Adkins was convicted by a jury of Theft by Unlawful Taking Over $10,000, two counts of Theft by Unlawful Taking under $10,000 and Receiving Stolen Property under $10,000. Between May 20th and May 27th 2016, Adkins stole and possessed four different vehicles in Fayette County. Adkins broke into each vehicle and “punched” the ignition, or damaged the ignition in a way that allowed him to start the vehicle with a screwdriver or tool instead of a key. Adkins was also convicted of Persistent Felony Offender First Degree, an enhancement based on his criminal history. The jury recommended a sentence of 11 years on the Theft by Unlawful Taking Over $10,000 and 10 years on each of the remaining charges, for a total of 11 years. Due to his criminal history, the defendant will be required to serve 10 years of his sentence before he becomes eligible for parole. Sentencing will be July 14, 2017. This case was tried in the Ninth Division before the Honorable Judge Kimberly Bunnell. The prosecutors were Francisco Villalobos II and Aaron Ann Cole.
Jury Recommends 10 year sentence for home burglary
Last Thursday, a Fayette County jury convicted Wade Alvin Stevenson of residential burglary, tampering with evidence, and being a persistent felon.
On October 16th, 2015, Stevenson entered a home on State Street and stole a wallet and car keys from the bedroom of the sleeping victim. Upon awakening, the victim and his roommate went outside looking for the burglar. They saw Stevenson across the street from their home. They confronted him and called 911. The responding Lexington Police Officers and the victim witnessed the Stevenson throwing down the victim’s keys. Later the stolen wallet and its contents were found in the direct walking path that the Defendant took when he left the victim’s home.
Stevenson has a lengthy criminal history spanning two decades and notably had only been released from prison 15 days before he committed these new crimes. The jury recommended a 10 year sentence on both the burglary and the tampering charges. Judge Thomas Travis set formal sentencing for July 21st. Prosecutor in the case was Katie Bouvier.
Guilty Verdict in Shooting Death Trial
After three days of trial, Donald Roark was convicted of manslaughter second degree in the shooting death of Corenz White on January 3, 2016. Roark had gone to an apartment complex off of Red Mile Road with White and the White’s brother in the late hours of January 2, 2016. During a confrontation after a party that evening, the Roark shot Corenz White in the chest resulting in his death. Body camera from an apartment security guard captured Roark dragging the body of Corenz White through the apartment complex shortly after the shooting. Roark was indicted for murder, but the jury found him guilty of the lesser offense of manslaughter 2nd Degree, recommending the maximum sentence of 10 years. Roark is scheduled for sentencing before Judge Thomas Travis, 8th Division, on July 21, 2016. Prosecutors were Paco Villalobos and Kathy Phillips.