March 15, 2017
Kathryn Webster and Aaron Ann Cole are attending the National District Attorney’s Association training on Investigating and Prosecuting Abusive Head Trauma Cases in Louisville, Kentucky this week. They are training with the best in the country, including Debbie Feinstein, a senior Assistant State’s Attorney in Rockville, MD.
March 3, 2017
On February 24, 2017, Brian Anthony Davis was sentenced to twenty years in prison for heroin trafficking. Davis, a Detroit native, would drive to Cincinnati and then take a taxi to Lexington in order to avoid detection. On eight separate occasions over a two-month period, Davis sold large quantities of heroin to police confidential informants, totaling $20,010 in sales for 133 grams of heroin – over 1,300 “hits”. Each undercover buy was videotaped. Davis was charged with eight counts of Trafficking in a Controlled Substance First Degree, each count of which carries a potential penalty of five to ten years in prison. Prosecutors recommended the maximum sentence allowed under the law.
Davis entered an open guilty plea, asking the Court to set the punishment. However, Judge Goodwine followed the recommendation of the Commonwealth and imposed the maximum ten years on each count, lamenting on the record Davis’s choice to spread poison in the community.
By law, Davis’s sentence is capped at twenty years. However, under a 2015 law stiffening penalties for heroin trafficking, Davis will not be eligible for shock probation, parole, or any other form of early release until he serves at least fifty percent of his sentence, or ten years.
Davis has no prior criminal record in Kentucky but three prior felony convictions in Michigan. Great work by the Kentucky State Police and prosecutor Kathy Phillips.
Our Crime Victim’s Advocate Brittany Scordo is attending the 2017 Central Kentucky Human Trafficking Summit at Georgetown College today.
February 28, 2017
On February 21, 2017, a Fayette County jury found Sean O’Brien Pittman guilty of Robbery in the Second Degree and recommended a sentence of 5 years and 6 months.
On June 19, 2016, the defendant robbed a Radio Shack store, located at 524 West New Circle Road. There was a Sprint store within the Radio Shack. After entering the story, Pittman locked the door, then he threatened the clerk with a sock filled with rocks or pieces of gravel. The clerk complied with the Pittman’s demands, and he left the store with over $25,000 worth of Sprint and Radio Shack merchandise. Pittman was apprehended shortly thereafter, and was still in possession of the stolen items and the weapon he used to rob the store.
The jury had the options of convicting Pittman of Robbery First Degree, Robbery Second Degree, or Felony Theft. Sentencing is scheduled for March 30th, 2017. Prosecutors were Aaron Ann Cole and Kathy Phillips
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.