The Richmond Register

March 1, 2013

Trial of four accused in 2011 Berea killing on track for July 8

By Sarah Hogsed
Register News Writer

RICHMOND — Three of the four people charged in the 2011 shooting death of Zackary Flower in Berea appeared in court Friday afternoon for a routine status hearing.

Matthew Denholm, 28, his brother, Ryan Denholm, 31, and Sherry Bratten, 32, were present as attorneys discussed the progress of the case with Madison Circuit Judge William Clouse.

Defendant Randall Burgess Jr., 19, did not attend the hearing because his attorney was tied up in a trial elsewhere. Matt Denholm’s attorneys also were not present.

All four defendants have been housed at Madison County Detention Center since their arrests in November 2011.

The Denholms are charged with murder, attempted murder and first-degree burglary.

Matthew Denholm is accused of breaking down the door of Flower’s Berea apartment Nov. 21, 2011, and using a rifle given to him by his brother to shoot Flower and his roommate, Kevin Price.

Price survived, but Flower, who was 25 years old, died after being shot in the face and wrist.

Bratten and Burgess are indicted on charges of facilitation of murder, facilitation of attempted murder and facilitation of first-degree burglar.

Trial for the four defendants is set to start July 8 and is expected to last two weeks.

Ryan Denholm’s attorney, Adam Zeroogian, said he realized Commonwealth’s Attorney David Smith has been busy preparing for several upcoming murder trials this spring and summer.

“We haven’t been able to talk about a possible resolution in this case,” Zeroogian said.

Smith agreed that his office was not prepared yet to negotiate possible plea bargains in the case.

All the attorneys present said they had no motions to discuss, and they agreed that the case was still on track for the July 8 trial date.

Clouse advised the lawyers to bring up any issues in a timely manner because a large jury pool will need to be selected and notified several weeks before the trial.

Smith has not announced yet about whether he will seek the death penalty against the Denholms. Because the two men also are accused of committing burglary while killing Flower, the murder charge could be punishable by death if they are convicted.

Matthew Denholm also faces another possible death-penalty trial scheduled to start Aug. 12. He and another man, Daniel Keene, are charged with two counts of murder in the 2010 deaths of Sonsaray “Sonsi” Warford and Charles “Chew” Walker.

Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@richmondregister.com or 624-6694.