By Sarah Hogsed
Register News Writer
In a brief pretrial hearing Tuesday morning, a man accused of complicity in the murder of a Madison County couple appeared before Judge Jean C. Logue.
Lebruce Ellington, 33, pleaded not guilty in January to complicity to murder, kidnapping and tampering with physical evidence in the 2010 deaths of Sonsaray Warford and Charles Walker.
The couple’s bodies were found in March 2012 in shallow graves off Tates Creek Road.
Ellington’s attorney Rebecca Lytle asked the judge for more time to collect evidence in the case from the prosecutor, a process that is called discovery. Commonwealth’s Attorney David Smith agreed he had more discovery items to turn over to Lytle.
Logue set the next pretrial hearing for 10 a.m. June 27 in Madison Circuit Court.
“Now, at that point we’ll discuss some trial dates and see where we stand on this,” Logue said.
Under Kentucky law, complicity to a crime carries the same penalty as actually committing the crime.
Ellington is accused of hiring two men, Daniel Keene and Matthew Denholm, and giving them a gun to kill Walker. It is alleged in a federal agent’s affidavit that Ellington did this for the leader of a Richmond cocaine ring who believed Walker stole money from him.
Police allege Keene and Denholm kidnapped Walker, and his girlfriend, Warford, from their Keystone Drive apartment. The two men are accused of taking the couple to the field off Tates Creek Road where they were shot and stabbed to death.
Keene and Denholm are scheduled to stand trial Aug. 12.
The leader of the drug ring, Jakolbe Chenault, has been sentenced in federal court to 20 years in prison for drug-trafficking and money laundering.
Chenault has not been charged with any crimes connected to the couple’s deaths.
Ellington has pleaded guilty to federal drug charges and is currently be held in prison while he awaits sentencing.