By Ronica Shannon
Senior News Writer
A London man who Richmond police say led them on a high-speed chase in July was indicted last week by a Madison grand jury.
Ernie R. Bratcher, 26, has been indicted on charges of receiving stolen property, second-degree criminal mischief, two counts of second-degree criminal mischief, two counts of second-degree fleeing or evading police, resisting arrest, possession of burglar’s tools and first-degree persistent felony offender.
At approximately 12:05 a.m. on July 31, officers were dispatched to the area of Berea Road and Duncannon Lane to investigate a report that Bratcher was operating a white 2004 Dodge Neon in the area and that there existed felony warrants for his arrest, said Richmond Police Chief Larry Brock.
Officers found the vehicle on Berea Road near Okonite and attempted to make a traffic stop, but Bratcher fled south “at speeds exceeding 80 mph,” Brock said.
Bratcher made it to the area of Bridgestone Drive and Berea Road when he ran the car into a fence and gate, the release stated. He got out of the car and attempted to flee on foot, but RPD officers quickly apprehended him, Brock said.
The officers determined that the car Bratcher had been driving had been reported stolen from Laurel County. A bag of tools police regard as “burglar’s tools” were found inside it, Brock said.
Bratcher was served with several warrants from other counties, including one from Laurel District Court charging him with receiving stolen property (over $10,000) in connection with possession of a stolen 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt, and a bench warrant from Jackson District Court for failure to appear at a preliminary hearing on felony auto charges, also in July.
Off-duty police officer catches man with drugs and syringe
Vincent Jones, 21, was indicted on several charges after an off-duty Kentucky State Police Trooper noticed him Aug. 9 in the parking lot of Tobacco Shed on Prince Royal Drive.
Jones faces trial on charges of third-degree assault, a Class D felony; first-degree possession of a controlled substance, a Class D felony; second-degree fleeing or evading police, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia, all Class A misdemeanors.
Berea police officers were called to respond to a report of suspicious activity outside the Tobacco Shed, but before the BPD officers arrived or the trooper identified himself, he “observed one of the subjects drawing a substance into a syringe,” said Berea Police spokesperson Sgt. Jake Reed. “He asked one of the subjects to step out of the vehicle, and as the subject stepped out, he pushed the trooper and ran away. The trooper was able to grab the subject and detain him until officers arrived.”
Inside the vehicle they located the syringe and a blue substance identified as Percocet inside of a Coke can, Reed said.
• Steven H. Hembree, two counts of first-degree wanton endangerment and first-degree possession of a controlled substance, all Class D felonies. If convicted on each count, Hembree could serve up to 15 years in prison.
• Richard Jackson, tampering with physical evidence, a Class D felony; first-degree possession of a controlled substance (second offense), a Class D felony; possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class a misdemeanor; and possession of marijuana, a Class B misdemeanor. If convicted on all charges, Jackson could serve up to 11 years and six months in prison.
• Joshua J. Wilson, two counts of receiving stolen property, a Class D felony. If convicted, Wilson could serve up to five years in prison on each count.
• Mark Mink, second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, a Class D felony punishable by a maximum of five years in prison.
• Laressa Grow, two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument. If convicted, Grow could serve a maximum of five years in prison on each count.
• Brent Oliver, theft by unlawful taking, a Class D felony. If convicted, he could serve up to a maximum of five years in prison.
An indictment is a formal statement of charges and does not imply guilt, only that grand jurors believe the state has enough evidence to proceed with prosecution.
Ronica Shannon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 624-6608.