The Richmond Register

Local News

October 11, 2013

Accused killer to be arraigned Wednesday in pawn shop slayings

SOMERSET — As Burnside barber Don Thompson gave Kenneth Allen Keith his regular haircut last Tuesday, he never suspected that Keith would be accused of killing three people only days later.

“Unbelievable,” said Thompson, owner of Don’s Barber and Style Shop, just across South U.S. 27 from Main Street Baptist Church in Burnside, where Keith lives and serves as pastor.

“He’s one of the last people in the world I would expect something like that from,” added Thompson. “He’s just a fine, upstanding citizen when he was in my shop.”

Now, as 48-year-old Keith remains lodged in the Boyle County Detention Center, more details are emerging in the Sept. 20 triple homicide of Angela Hockensmith, 38; her husband, Michael Hockensmith, 35, both formerly of Pulaski County; and Daniel P. Smith, 60, of Richmond.

Keith is charged with three counts of murder and one count of first-degree robbery in the case. Investigators say Keith entered the ABC Gold, Games and More pawn shop in Danville, owned by the Hockensmiths and Steven Devine, on the morning of Sept. 20 and shot and killed the couple and Smith, who was a regular customer at the store.

The Hockensmiths’ two children, 9-year-old Andrew and 14-month-old Naomi, reportedly hid in a closet in the store when the murders occurred. Andrew reportedly called 911 after the shootings, and he and his sister escaped unharmed.

Friends and relatives of the Hockensmiths said the couple knew Keith, who known to his friends as “Allen.”

Tony Hockensmith, Michael Hockensmith’s brother, said Keith served as a former pastor to his brother who became friends years ago when Keith was youth minister at Burnside’s Main Street Baptist Church.

“My brother followed him into the ministry and served as a youth minister at a Baptist church near Danville. Michael saw the pawn shop as an opportunity to reach out to those who might be in financial trouble,” Tony Hockensmith said. “"He didn't feel like you had to be in a church to be able to minister.”

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