A Madison grand jury indicted a Richmond man on a murder charge Wednesday in the death of his girlfriend’s brother, who he is alleged to have struck with his car.
Jeremy D. Rice, 21, also was indicted as a second-degree persistent felony offender, according to court documents.
The murder charge is a capital offense, however the case is not eligible for the death penalty, according to state law. Rice faces 20 to 50 years or life in prison if convicted.
According to preliminary hearing testimony in Madison District Court, Rice got into a physical argument Dec. 28 with his girlfriend’s brother, 22-year-old Joshua Childers.
Richmond officers were called to the scene on Evansdale Avenue after receiving a report of vehicle striking a person.
Officer Paul Lay testified that he found Childers on the ground, breathing but unresponsive. Childers died two days later at the University of Kentucky Medical Center.
Rice’s girlfriend, Brittney Childers, told police she had gotten into an argument with her boyfriend, and he had shoved her. Her brother Joshua then intervened, and the two men began scuffling, Lay said.
The fight spilled into the parking lot, where Rice got into a vehicle, Brittney Childers told police. As Rice drove away, he struck Joshua Childers, according to the police report.
Lay testified that Joshua Childers was not blocking the parking lot exit, and Rice could have “easily” driven around the man.
Police later found Rice at his mother’s house, and Rice denied having seen Joshua Childers that night. Rice has remained in the Madison County Detention Center since his arrest.
He had a pending felony theft-related case in Madison Circuit Court prior to the Dec. 28 incident, according to court records.
In 2011, Rice pleaded guilty to a second-degree burglary charge in Madison Circuit Court and was sentenced in May 2012 to five years in prison. He was recommended for parole in August 2012 after serving 20 percent of his sentence, according to the Kentucky Online Offender Lookup.
Sarah Hogsed can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 624-6694.