The Richmond Register

Local News

June 14, 2012

Keene, Denholm arraigned in Warford, Walker murders

Victims' families meet for first time


Family and friends of Sonsaray “Sonsi” Warford and Charles “Chew” Walker gathered Wednesday at the entrance of the Madison County Courthouse after the arraignment of Daniel Keene, 26, and Matthew Denholm, 27, the two men accused of kidnapping and murdering the Richmond couple in 2010.

Most of the group were wearing yellow T-shirts with a picture of Warford and Walker printed on them, and they have attended every court proceeding.

However, at this hearing, Laurie and Mark Flower also were there to offer their support.

The Flowers are the parents of Zackary D. Flower, who was allegedly shot and killed in his Berea apartment by Denholm in November. Denholm and his brother, Ryan Denholm, are charged with murder in that case.

The Flowers drove from their home in Lynchburg, Va., and met the families of Warford and Walker for the first time.

While gathered at the courthouse entrance, Warford’s mother Roslyn Martin turned to the Flowers and said “I haven’t met you, but I’m Sonsaray’s mom. I’m so sorry for your loss, we just have to hang in there.”

“We’re two praying mothers right here,” Laurie Flower said. “We’re here to support their family. We understand what they are going through a little bit. It’s different circumstances, but many are the same. We love them. The more we support each other, the better we can get through this.”

Laurie Flower said that although she is not from Kentucky, she has trust in the judicial system, the police officers, the investigators and the prosecutor, Commonwealth’s Attorney David Smith.

“I have a lot of faith that they are going to do what they need to do to see that justice is done,” she said.

The choice on whether to seek the death penalty is up to the prosecuting attorney, and Smith previously stated he has not yet made that decision.

Warford’s father, Gregory Todd, said he wished the proceedings could move more swiftly.

“This is hard for us because we want to get this started,” he said. “We want to get our family members back so we can have a proper burial for them. That’s our concern right now.”

In March, Judge Brandy Brown ordered that the bodies of Warford and Walker, found buried in a field off Tates Creek Road, should remain preserved for evidence.

During Wednesday’s arraignment, Denholm and Keene’s attorneys both waived a formal reading of the indictment and Judge Jean C. Logue accepted a “not guilty” plea from both defendants.

The attorneys told Logue they had made preliminary arrangements to start exchanging evidence soon and requested a hearing date.

“We have court on a regular basis, but this might take you a few extra months to prepare,” the judge said.

When they were called to stand before the judge, Denholm and Keene both shuffled past the victims’ families, cuffed and shackled with their eyes averted to the ground.

Keene momentarily looked up at the group dressed in yellow while he was speaking with his attorney, Bobby Amburgy.

“There was no remorse on their faces at all,” Walker’s aunt Amy Burbridge said of the defendants.

“We can hardly look at them,” said Martin. “But I’m willing to wait the wait, and I can do this for my daughter Sonsaray, and be strong for her. I know it’s going to take time.”

The a pretrial conference in the case is scheduled for Sept. 19 at 1:30 p.m.

Register News Writer Sarah Hogsed contributed to this story.

Crystal Wylie can be reached at or 623-1669, ext. 6696.

Text Only
Local News
  • 4-20 Shoulders-B.jpg Eggs fly at park

    Easter has probably never been so “eggstravagant” in Richmond as it was Saturday during the annual Eggstravaganza in Irvine-McDowell Park.
    For the first time, thousands of eggs were dropped, appropriately by an “eggbeater”-type helicopter, in addition to thousands of eggs already scattered on the grass below. Together, they numbered about 10,000, according to Erin Moore, Richmond Parks and Recreation director.

    April 20, 2014 12 Photos

  • City awaits funds for Water Street project

    Richmond city officials are still awaiting word on grant funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the Water Street drainage project.
    However, Mayor Jim Barnes said he is confident the money should come through by May 1.

    April 20, 2014

  • Kitcarson1.jpg Elementary schools built in ‘60s getting upgrades

    Renovation of three Madison County elementary schools built in Richmond during the 1960s will start this summer.
    The county school board voted Thursday to continue with the second phase of state paperwork required for the projects.
    With a target completion date of August 2015, renovations and alterations at Daniel Boone, Kit Carson and White Hall elementary schools are estimated to cost almost $12 million.

    April 20, 2014 9 Photos

  • KY 52 link to I-75 to be discussed May 13

    While a proposed link from Nicholasville to Exit 95 on Interstate 75 north of Richmond has garnered attention and organized opposition, the state also is developing plans to link I-75 to another community to the west.

    April 20, 2014

  • May 30 last school day for students

    After 16 snows days and two weather delays this winter, the Madison County School Board decided Thursday to end the school year on Friday, May 30.

    April 19, 2014

  • 4-19 TechExtra1.jpg Students showcase projects in Technology Extravaganza

    Madison County School students showed off just how tech savvy they can be during the district’s sixth annual Technology Extravaganza on Thursday at Madison Central High School. After the showcase, more than 350 students were honored for their work.

    April 19, 2014 7 Photos

  • 4-19 SchoolBoardJesseWard.jpg Ward honored for service; tech center named after him

    Retired Madison County educator Jesse Ward was recognized Thursday for his many years of service. To honor him, Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the board’s decision to rename the district’s technology training center on North Second Street in Richmond the Jesse P. Ward Technology and Training Center.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 Brian Smith.jpg Berea man indicted on 24 child porn counts

    A Madison grand jury has indicted a Berea man on 24 counts related to child pornography.

    Brian J. Smith, 26, is charged with four counts of distribution and 20 counts of possession of matter portraying sexual performances by a minor.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 Gregory Powell.jpg Police apprehend burglary suspect

    An observant witness was able to help Richmond police catch a burglary suspect shortly after a break-in Thursday afternoon on Savanna Drive off Berea Road.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-18 PackTrack1a.jpg Walkers, runners of every age ‘Pack the Track’

    Waco Elementary and Model Laboratory schools students raised more than $8,000 (and counting) for the annual Pack the Track event at Eastern Kentucky University’s Tom Samuels Track Thursday, said Kim DeCoste of the Madison County Diabetes Coalition.

    April 18, 2014 14 Photos

AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Should Richmond rezone the southwest corner of Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue to B-1 (Neighborhood Business) with restrictions to allow construction of a financial services office?

     View Results