In March of 2009, Chris Tolliver, who was an active member of the Lexington Children’s Theatre, was shot and killed in the parking lot of the Lexington Green Shopping Center. His killer later led police on a high speed chase around the city. Thanks to the assistance of witnesses, the police were able to quickly capture Toby Lasure, and he was charged with murder.
In March of 2011, Lasure was tried by a Fayette County jury and found guilty of murder. After which, Judge Kimberly Bunnell followed the jury’s recommendation and sentenced him to life in prison.
The Supreme Court, in an opinion written by Justice Bill Cunningham, later reversed the murder conviction and sent the case back to our county, where Lasure pled guilty to murder and the Commonwealth (after consulting with the Tolliver family) recommended that he serve a 30 year sentence. Rather than going through the nightmare of another murder trial, the family preferred the 30 year recommendation.
The outrageous reality of sentencing in Kentucky is that even a murderer is eligible for parole after serving 20 years of his sentence.