News Around the State

Published 12:09 pm Friday, February 16, 2018

Ky. teen charged as adult in fatal school shootings

BENTON, Ky. (AP) — A 15-year-old boy accused of opening fire inside his Kentucky high school will be tried as an adult on murder charges.

Kentucky State Police said Friday that Gabriel Parker was indicted on two murder charges and 14 assault charges for the Jan. 23 shootings at Marshall County High School. Two 15-year-old students were killed in the shootings, with many more injured.

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Parker’s identity had not been disclosed before Friday’s arraignment. The grand jury met on Tuesday to consider charging Parker in adult court.

State Police released a short statement on Friday afternoon.

Bailey Nicole Holt and Preston Ryan Cope were killed and another 18 people were injured at the high school in far western Kentucky. On Thursday, the town held a vigil for the victims of a Florida school that left 17 dead on Wednesday.

Couple charged in 2-year-old boy’s death

BEREA, Ky. (AP) — A mother and her boyfriend have been charged in the death of a 2-year-old boy in Kentucky.

Jail records indicate 31-year-old William H. Butler and 26-year-old Seara M. Clements were arrested Thursday on charges of murder, criminal abuse of a child and failure to report neglect/abuse.

Kentucky State Police believe Tristan Clements was injured while in the care of his mother, Seara Clements, and Butler. Police were contacted Monday about a toddler at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital with life-threatening injuries. Tristan Clements died Wednesday.

Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn says the child’s death is under investigation.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Butler and Clements have lawyers.

Former youth center founder indicted for fraud

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The U.S. Attorney in Louisville says the founder of a therapy center has been charged in a scheme to defraud the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice and the federal government.

An indictment charging 61-year-old Clifford Frank “Jay” Wilkinson was unsealed on Thursday. It says Wilkinson and a former employee, 39-year-old Erica Beth Bowen, together falsified attendance records at the Bluegrass Training and Therapy Center by allegedly forging the signatures of youths.

A release from the U.S. Attorney’s office says an investigation found 8,000 instances of falsified sign-ins from 2012 to 2015. The indictment says Wilkinson, the center’s founder, and Bowen, a former employee, fraudulently obtained more than $400,000 in payments.

If convicted at trial, Wilkerson and Bowen could be sentenced up to 20 years in prison.

University, federal prison partner to offer class

RICHMOND, Ky. (AP) — Eastern Kentucky University and the Federal Bureau of Prisons have announced a partnership that will give criminal justice students and inmates a chance to learn together.

A statement from the school says a college class will be offered at the Federal Correctional Institution at Manchester as part of the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. The statement says university students will have practical learning opportunities in a career environment while inmates will have the chance to learn in a college environment while still in custody.

The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program is a national educational initiative to bring together campus-based students with incarcerated students for a semester-long course held in a prison or jail.

EKU College of Justice and Safety Dean Victor Kappeler said the partnership highlights the empowering value of education for everyone.