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Entries in Kentucky (35)

Monday
May272013

Kentucky Cop Shot Dead in Roadside Ambush

Comstock/Thinkstock(BARDSTOWN, Ky.) -- Authorities are searching for clues in the shooting death of a Bardstown, Ky., police officer who was ambushed along a highway exit ramp after leaving his car to remove debris from the road.

State police believe the debris was intentionally placed to draw someone out of their vehicle, but they're not sure whether a law enforcement officer was the target or someone else.

"I've been a trooper for 19 years and I've never seen anything like this, the level of planning," Trooper Norman Chaffins with the Kentucky State Police told ABCNews.com. The State Police are the lead agency on the investigation.

K-9 Officer Jason Ellis, 33, was on his way home at 2:53 a.m. Saturday morning when he stopped at an exit ramp along the Blue Grass Parkway in Nelson County, 10 miles from Bardstown. When Ellis began removing debris from the roadway, he was shot multiple times. Kentucky State Police won't say what the debris was, calling it a crucial part of the investigation.

Shortly after the attack, a passing motorist found Ellis, whose vehicle lights were still flashing, and called police using the radio in the officer's cruiser. The motorist described the scene as if it was an apparent traffic accident, but when a trooper arrived, it became clear that this was no accidental death.

"We have no suspects at this time, but we don't believe kids were responsible because of how calculated the crime was. The location was obviously not picked randomly," said Trooper Chaffins.

"Officer Ellis didn't even have time to remove his gun," said the trooper.

The shooting occurred in a rural area and no witnesses have yet come forward. Ellis had a dash-cam installed in his car, but it was not on at the time of the shooting.

Kentucky State Police are asking for the public's help in identifying anything that seemed unusal or out of place on the exit 34 ramp prior to the shooting.

"The smallest detail that may not seem important to a lay person may be the one detail we need to bring someone to justice," said investigators in a statement. Citizens are asked to "Text a Tip" or visit the Kentucky State Police online or email a public affairs officer.

Ellis was a seven-year veteran of the Bardstown Police Department and is the first officer killed in the line of the duty for this small agency, located about 40 miles south of Louisville. Ellis leaves behind his wife and two sons.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Dec292012

Missing 17-Month-Old Found on University of Kentucky Campus

University of Kentucky Police Department(LEXINGTON, Ky.) -- A 17-month-old California girl is in the custody of Child Protective Services in Kentucky since Friday after being reported missing more than two months ago.

Alouette Day-Moreno-Baltierra of Los Angeles was found Thursday at the University of Kentucky after two police officers received a phone call about a suspicious woman pushing a stroller on the university’s parking lot.

“This is an example of where the responding officers followed a gut feeling that something just wasn’t right with the situation,” said University of Kentucky Police Chief Joe Monroe in a news release on Friday.  “We have been working with the Child Protective Services, LAPD and the FBI to make sure that we get Alouette returned safely to her legal custodian.”

University police officers Jennifer Ockerman and Emily Smith watched as 62-year-old Maria Baltierra-Dejesus pushed a baby stroller in a school parking lot in below-freezing temperatures. The baby had no shoes, gloves or head covering, police said.

When the officers approached Baltierra-Dejesus, who claimed to be the child’s grandmother, she was uncooperative, police said.

After further investigation, university officers were able to locate the child’s birth certificate, which indicated the toddler was born in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Police Department said the child was reported missing on Oct. 16 from the 700 block of West Olympic Boulevard near the business district of Los Angeles.

“The child’s mother, Dominique Baltierra, indicated [on Oct. 16] she did not know the whereabouts of her child and mother. The following day, she wanted to cancel the missing children’s report, citing the child and grandmother had been located,” said Norma Eisenman, public information officer for the LAPD. “When LAPD asked Baltierra to produce the child, the mother refused and was evasive.”

LAPD added that the Department of Children and Family Services simultaneously placed a warrant in its system for both the grandmother and child.

“University police arrested Baltierra-Dejesus on the warrant and the child was then placed into protective services,” said Eisenman.

On Friday, the LAPD confirmed Baltierra-Dejesus was the grandmother to the 17-month-old baby.

At the time of her arrest, evidence of wire transfer receipts from Baltierra-Dejesus’ family members were found in the woman’s possession.

“Family members were financially supporting the alleged grandmother since the baby has been missing, since October, while she’s been on the run with the child,” said Monroe. “We’ve received word [that] on one occasion she’s tried to leave the country with the baby, possibly a second time.”

Monroe said Baltierra-Dejesus tried to flee to France or Holland.

“She received passports issued while she was in California, which dated a week before the child went missing in October,” said Monroe.

University police have charged Baltierra-Dejesus with endangering the welfare of a minor and custodial interference. Further charges will be made from the state of California.

As of Friday, Baltierra-Dejesus had not requested an attorney, Monroe said.

The police are also trying to determine why Baltierra-Dejesus chose to come to Kentucky, according to Monroe.

Baltierra-Dejesus is currently being treated at a university health care facility. Once she’s released, university police will transfer her to Fayette County Detention Center in Lexington, Ky., where she’ll await extradition from California.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Monroe.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec272012

Dying Kentucky Boy Comes Closer to World Record for Most Christmas Cards

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SALYERSVILLE, Ky.) -- Under the Christmas tree was everything 9-year-old Dalton Dingus had hoped for -- an iPad and an iPhone, a big red toolbox filled with real tools just like his grandpa's, and a stack of Christmas cards nearly as tall he, each with the same wish: that he live to break a Guinness record, and for a long, long time after that.

For a month now, cards by the hundreds of thousands have come from all over the world -- well wishes and Christmas greetings from cities and countries the of which the Kentucky boy never heard before.

The cards have come from Germany and Ukraine, from South Carolina and South Korea. They're written in languages Dalton cannot read, but they all deliver the same message, a wish that the little boy could set a Guinness record for receiving most Christmas cards before he succumbs to a disease that has already made it virtually impossible for him to breathe.

As far as his mother, Jessica Dingus, is concerned, "It's a Christmas miracle."

At first, the cards came in slowly. A family friend had posted an appeal for well-wishes on Facebook. Dalton's mother would display them on the mantel and in his room beside his bed. Most came from neighbors and friends, a few from friends of friends.

That first post on Facebook went viral, spreading across the Internet, getting picked up by a local newspaper and other media.

Miss Kentucky showed up at Dalton's house in Salyersville, Ky., carrying some cards. So did a unit of Kentucky State Troopers and the star of Animal Planet's Call of the Wildman.

By Wednesday, his mother estimated the boy had received 504,269 cards.

On Christmas Eve alone, the postal service delivered 30,000 individual letters, plus 1,972 packages, some of which were filled with cards and 55 express packages, said David Walton, a spokesman for the US Postal Service. UPS and FedEx delivered hundreds more.

Dalton has stage four cystic fibrosis. In October, his mother said, "Doctors had given up on him."

"We left the hospital to come home. They gave him two to eight days to live," Jessica Dingus told ABCNews.com

Dalton takes 18 different medicines every day, including "lots of pills and antibiotics," his mother said.

He goes through 12 liters of oxygen a day and wears a face mask to help him breathe, making him look like a miniature fighter pilot with an interest in coloring and playing with LEGO blocks.

For weeks since the cards started coming, Jessica Dingus said, Dalton's health has improved.

"He's doing pretty good now," she said. "It's just been the best Christmas ever.

"He's excited for the first time in a long time," she said. "He's smiling more. He's laughing more, he's beginning to become how he was two years ago.

"I think just knowing people really do care for him, that the cards let him know people love him, it has all helped," she said.

The cards can longer fit in Dalton's home. The letter carrier can't fit them all in her truck anymore, and a local television reporter has taken to filling a trailer to bring all the cards to Dalton's grandfather's church.

There, at the Bethlehem to Cavalry Apostolic Church, dozens of volunteers, 50 of them on Christmas Eve alone, sorted the mail fire-brigade style, forming lines and handing off the letters to empty the trailer.

The volunteers count the cards and open and read each of them, flagging special ones to be brought to Dalton for him to read.

"We're looking for those special cards we think Dalton would like to read. One little girl said she wished he was her boyfriend," said Debra Williams, a volunteer at the church.

"The big majority of the town has sent cards or is helping out. Everyone just wants to do what we can. We're all just praying and hoping," she said.

Despite some reports that Dalton had already broken the record for receiving the most Christmas cards, spokeswoman Jamie Panas said Guinness, "currently does not monitor a category for this."

However, Guinness does have an old record on the books. As of 1992, the last official time Guinness allowed for a Christmas card category, Canadian Jarrod Booth had collected 205,120.

Jessica Dingus told ABCNews.com that she has since registered Dalton in the hopes the record keepers will open a category for him.

There are some reports that Dalton has only until Dec. 31 to break the record, but Panas said that was not true.

To send Dalton a Christmas card, address it to: Dalton Dingus HC 62 Box 1249 Salyersville, KY 41465.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul032012

Nineteen Kids Found Unattended in Sweltering Kentucky Home

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(BOWLING GREEN, Ky.) -- Authorities say 19 children, ranging in age from eight months to 14 years, were left alone with nine dogs, little food and no air-conditioning for almost a week in a sweltering three-bedroom home in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Jackie Farah, who officials say is the mother of some of the children rescued from the home, has been jailed on 14 counts of criminal abuse in the first degree and five counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree.

The kids were examined and released to social services.

Police are still searching for other adults who may be responsible.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun282012

Kentucky Father Arrested After Son Left in Hot Car

Photodisc/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(LONDON, Ky.) -- A Kentucky father has been arrested for allegedly leaving his 2-year-old son inside a hot car parked outside his office.

Kenneth Robinson, 31, told police he got distracted on Monday and drove straight to work instead of dropping off the boy at daycare.  The toddler was strapped in the backseat as the temperature hit 100 degrees in the car in London, Ky.  One of Robinson’s co-workers noticed the boy more than two hours later and made a frantic call to police.

“I need an ambulance at Patton-Chestnut and Binder ASAP.  A child was left in the car,” the co-worker said.  “Is he breathing?  Is he breathing?  Yes, he’s breathing.”

Witnesses say the boy was alert in the backseat, but his face was red before being rushed to the hospital.  Robinson told police it was a terrible mistake.

This is not an uncommon story during the hot summer months.  A Massachusetts woman was charged last week with reckless endangerment for leaving her 5-month-old niece in the car for hours.  The baby survived.

Thirty-three children died of hypothermia in the United States last year after being left in a vehicle; six have already died this year.  Half of the children were forgotten in the vehicle by a caregiver.

Robinson’s story didn’t end in tragedy and he pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Wednesday.  He faces a felony charge of wanton endangerment and is due back in court on Tuesday for a preliminary hearing.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun132012

WATCH: Prisoner Busts Out of Kentucky Jail Cell -- and Into Court

Comstock/Thinkstock(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) -- A suspect trying to escape from a Louisville, Ky., cell recently got quite a surprise when he pushed through a door.

The inmate, whose name has not been released, had attacked a deputy during a court hearing Monday at the Jefferson County Courthouse, according to ABC News affiliate WHAS-TV.

He was then put into a holding cell. When a deputy tried to remove another inmate from that cell, the suspect forced his way out.

He and the deputy then crashed through a door and into a courtroom that was in session.  The suspect reportedly managed to get 20 feet from the deputy before court bailiffs seized him.

The county sheriff’s office said that nobody in the courtroom was in danger. The inmate is now charged with attempted escape and assault.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
May072012

Kentucky Derby Death Investigators Watching Surveillance Tapes

File photo. iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) -- Kentucky investigators are working with Churchill Downs to view surveillance footage that might provide clues about the mysterious death of a Guatemalan groomer hours after the Kentucky Derby.

Louisville homicide detectives identified the man whose injured body was found Sunday morning in one of the barns at Churchill Downs a day after the Kentucky Derby as Adan Fabian Perez. Police said Perez, 48, was licensed to work at Churchill Downs since 2008.

Perez's body was discovered just before 5 a.m. in Barn No. 8, four barns away from where I'll Have Another, the horse that won the derby, was kept.

The body was identified by Perez's 19-year-old son, Wilson Deejesus Fabian Perez.

Authorities are working with Churchill Downs to view footage from surveillance cameras in the area, but would not comment on where the cameras were located.

"At this time, a homicide detective is currently interviewing witnesses and individuals who might be involved or have information regarding the case and the medical examiner is doing the autopsy at this time," Lt. Barry Wilkerson of the Louisville Metro Police Department, said Monday at a news conference.

Wilkerson is hoping to complete all witness interviews by Tuesday. Police are using Spanish-speaking officers and interpreters to interview the many Hispanic workers.

Wilkerson also spoke about numerous reported "altercations" leading up to the body's discovery, but would not go into detail about them.

On Sunday, police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley told ABC News that authorities had found "evidence of injuries that lead us to believe he was involved in an altercation and that foul play was involved."

Wilkerson would not comment on the body's condition when it was found, but said, "There were some wounds that obviously [make us] suspect foul play was involved and there's some other situation that with the location of the body where it was, it just wasn't a natural event."

Perez was found in the back portion of the barn, not in a stall or with a horse, police said.

Perez worked for horse trainer Cecil Borel, the brother of veteran jockey Calvin Borel. Perez started working for Borel in 2008 as a groomer.

Wilkerson said police have "no suspects at this time."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
May072012

Body Found at Kentucky Derby Track Identified

MARK ABRAHAM/AFP/GettyImages(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) -- Louisville, Ky., homicide detectives have identified the man whose injured body was found Sunday morning in one of the barns at Churchill Downs a day after the Kentucky Derby as Adan Fabian Perez, a 48-year-old from Guatemala.

Perez's body was discovered just before 5 a.m. in Barn No. 8, four barns away from where I'll Have Another, the horse that won the derby, was kept. 

He was identified by his 19-year-old son, Wilson Deejesus Fabian Perez.

Adan Fabian Perez worked for horse trainer Cecil Borel, the brother of veteran jockey Calvin Borel.  Perez started working for Borel in 2008 as a groomer.

"We found evidence of injuries that lead us to believe he was involved in an altercation and that foul play was involved," Louisville Metro Police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley told ABC News.

The owner of Barn No. 8, Angel Montano, told ABC News affiliate WHAS-TV that one of his employees found the body, but Perez didn't work for him and he did not know him.

"The barns themselves have various stalls for the horses," Smiley said.  "He was found in the barn and not in the stall with a horse or anything."

Before the body was identified, police said there was no evidence of a connection to Churchill Downs, the racetrack where the Kentucky Derby is held annually, or the Kentucky Derby, police said.

"We are still trying to determine what led to the incident.  At this point we don't have anything pointing to the fact that this had any association with Churchill Downs or the Derby itself," said Smiley.

Smiley said police have not named any suspects or made any arrests.

She said authorities are waiting for an autopsy report to determine the cause of death. 

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
May062012

Kentuck Derby Mystery: Body Found, Cops Say Evidence of Foul Play

MARK ABRAHAM/AFP/GettyImages(LOUISVILLE, KY.) -- Louisville, Ky., homicide detectives are investigating the death of a man whose injured body was found this morning in one of the barns at Churchill Downs a day after the Kentucky Derby, authorities said.

The body was discovered just before 5 a.m. in Barn No. 8, four barns away from where I'll Have Another, the horse that won the derby, was kept.

"We found evidence of injuries that lead us to believe he was involved in an altercation and that foul play was involved," Louisville Metro Police spokewoman Alicia Smiley told ABCNews.com.

The death is being investigated as a homicide, but there is no evidence of a connection to Churchill Downs, the racetrack where the Kentucky Derby is held annually, or the Kentucky Derby, police said.

"We are still trying to determine what led to the incident. At this point we don't have anything pointing to the fact that this had any association with Churchill Downs or the Derby itself," said Smiley.

Smiley said police have not named any suspects or made any arrests.

Some workers sleep in the backside of Churchill Downs, Smiley said, but she was not sure if anyone was supposed to be in the barn overnight.

Trainer Angel Montano, who works out of Barn No. 8, told ABC News affiliate WHAS-TV in Louisville that one of his employees found the body when he arrived for work.

Smiley said authorities are waiting for an autopsy report to determine the cause of death.

"There are homicide detectives on the scene. They are investigating any type of death regardless of the manner of how it occurred," she said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar302012

Cincinnati Ben-Gals Cheerleader and Former Teacher Charged for Alleged Affair with Student

ABC News(EDGEWOOD, Ky.) -- Kentucky police are calling a personal foul against a high school teacher who moonlighted as a Cincinnati Ben-Gal. Her offense: having sex with an underage student.

Sarah Jones, 26, was indicted Thursday on charges of first-degree sexual abuse and unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual or other prohibited acts. Police say the charges stem from an investigation that began in November at Dixie Heights High School in Edgewood, Ky.

"We were made aware of allegations of inappropriate relations between a teacher and an underage student at the school," said Edgewood Police Chief Anthony Kramer. "We have been conducting an investigation since that time."

Jones, a former freshman English teacher at the high school and current cheerleader for the Cincinnati Bengals, stepped down from her position at the school in November after the investigation began, citing "personal reasons."

The grand jury also handed down a federal charge against Jones' mother, Cheryl Jones, for allegedly tampering with physical evidence in her daughter's case. Both Jones and her mother refused to comment, but Tim Jones, Cheryl's husband and Sarah's father, said the family was shocked by the charges against his wife.

"This just happened yesterday, so there has been no time for us to prepare," Tim Jones said. "We don't even know what [Cheryl's] charges consist of, so it's impossible for us to comment." Tim Jones said the family had no comment on the charges his daughter is facing.

Dr. Terri Cox-Cruey, superintendent for the Kenton County School District, said Cheryl Jones, principal at Twenhofel Middle School in Independence, Ky., was placed on administrative leave after Thursday's indictment. She said the central office is cooperating with police, but are not conducting a separate, internal investigation.

"We were notified in November about the allegation against Miss Jones, but were surprised by the charge against her mother," Cox-Cruey said. "As teachers, there is a certain code of ethics, and it is very uncommon for teachers to break that standard. We will have to wait to see how the details of the investigation unfold before I can comment on what her position will be with the school."

But this isn't Sarah Jones's first appearance in a Kentucky courtroom. In 2010, Jones sued TheDirty.com for defamation of character after a photo of her and former Bengals kicker Shayne Graham appeared on the gossip website, along with comments that Jones had a sexually transmitted disease and had had sex in her classroom. Jones said she emailed the site multiple times, pleading with them to take down the photo.

"To stand in front of 30 15-year-olds and tell them you don't have STDs and that you are not a slut is the hardest thing you will ever have to do," she told ABC News' Chris Cuomo in a 20/20 interview.

A federal judge in Kentucky awarded Jones an $11 million default judgment for defamation in the case, but litigation is scheduled to continue June 4 in Covington, Ky.

An arraignment for both Sarah and Cheryl Jones is scheduled for Monday. If convicted, the women could spend at least five years in prison for each charge.

A representative from the Bengals organization could not be reached for comment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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