Ricky Lee York
Four persons who have been charged in the past months with serious criminal offenses were among those who were involved in Clinton Circuit Court proceedings on January 12, according to court records.
The cases involved three different incidents that occurred in Clinton County last year, including a death, a serious assault that left one person critically wounded and another involving the attempted murder of family members at a Clinton County residence.
The defendants in the cases involve three local residents and a nearby Tennessee man. The three cases, presided over by Clinton Circuit Judge David L. Williams, involved the following:
* Travis Slone, who is charged with manslaughter in the first degree, had a bond hearing in which his defense attorney, Public Advocate Brad Shuffett, had filed a motion to have the defendant’s bond reduced.
Slone is charged in connection with the shooting death of James D. Guffey that occurred last September at a residence on Hwy. 738, just inside the Albany City Limits following an altercation between the two men.
Slone was originally charged with murder but a Clinton County Grand Jury returned an indictment on the lesser charge when it convened in early November. The defendant was arraigned in September where he entered a not guilty plea.
During the motion for bond reduction, Judge Williams wrote, “The court found the Defendant is a danger to the community due to the nature of the current charge and lack of residence stability and therefore denied the Motion for Bond Reduction.” Further, the court found Slone in contempt of court for destruction of property in the holding cell and sentenced him to six months in jail.
* Judge Williams, during a pretrial conference, wrote that the case against Ricky Lee York remains set for trial February 13-14 of this year.
York is charged with three counts of attempted murder, one count of first degree arson and four counts of persistent felony offender in relation to a house fire in which three residents were inside at the time.
The trial was originally scheduled for late October of 2016, but judge Williams set a new trial date in the case on October 20.
York, of Celina, Tennessee, was charged in connection with a house fire at 77 Old Kentucky Road which occurred last March 11 He was arrested and charged six days later by Kentucky State Police.
* In the most recent case, Lisa Sue York and Danny Joe Stearns were arraigned on January 12 before Judge Williams in relation to a robbery, stabbing and beating of an elderly Clinton County man, Bill Russell, that occurred in early November.
Each defendant is charged with attempted murder, first degree assault, theft by failure to make required disposition and theft by unlawful taking of a vehicle in relation to the crime.
Each defendant was interviewed by the Pretrial Release Officer and deemed eligible for a public defender, with attorney Brad Shuffett appointed to represent both York and Stearns. Each entered pleas of not guilty and a pretrial conference for both defendants is scheduled for February 9 at 9 a.m.
The victim allegedly gave both defendants a ride on the evening of November 8, eventually taking them to a location in the Bell Camp area of Piney Woods. At that location, Stearns allegedly stabbed the victim several times and he was also beaten, and allegedly, the pair attempted to run Russell over in his own truck that they drove away in.
Despite his injuries, Russell was able to walk to a residence in the area a distance away to get help. He was hospitalized and according to Sheriff Jim Guffey, received over 300 stitches as a result of the attack.
The suspects, Stearns 55 and York, 52, were identified as his attackers and were arrested a short time later in Clay County, Tennessee and charged in connection with the incident.
Other than the stab wounds, the victim suffered a broken hand and other injuries and according to the sheriff, actually walked over a mile to get help.
(Several other cases were on the docket for the January Circuit Court terms and results of the session appears elsewhere this week.)
Lisa Sue York
Danny Joe Stearn