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March 6, 2018

SUSPECT, WHO TOOK OFF WITH SHOOTING VICTIM'S VEHICLE, WAS FOUND THE NEXT DAY IN WILLIAMSON;

MAN WAS ALREADY IN CUSTODY IN REGIONAL JAIL IN WVA ON SEPARATE CHARGES, BOND NOW $100,000

MAY 5, 2018 - written by WADE QUEEN

More than a month after three people were murdered in Martin County and no official word on who the shooter might be, a grand jury has indicted a man in the triple-murder case.

28-year-old Lance J. Ward of Williamson, West Virginia, was reportedly charged as a result of evidence presented to a Martin County Grand Jury on Thursday, May 3.

Ward was charged and indicted with three counts of murder and two counts of first degree robbery.

Testimony was given to the Martin County grand jury by the Kentucky State Police Detective leading the case.

On March 23, the bodies of Micah Sammons, 20, of Kimper, and Dereck L. James, 26, of Huddy, were found on a strip mine at Goff Hollow, along Route 292 in Martin County, near the Pike County line. A third person found at the scene, Amber Lockard (also known as Amber Bates), 31, of Huddy, who was wounded during the shooting and taken to an area hospital, died five days later.

Lance Ward stole Amber Lockard's Chevrolet Trailblazer which was was later found in Williamson, West Virginia a day after Lockard died.

A warrant has been issued for Ward’s arrest, but he is currently being incarcerated in the Southwestern Regional Jail in Logan County, West Virginia on unrelated charges. Once the warrant is served, the 24th District Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office will begin extradition proceedings.

A judge in Mingo County, West Virginia set Lance Ward's bail at $100,000.

Ward will be arraigned in Mingo County court May 17.

Dereck James' family says they are thankful for the indictment. "It doesn't seem like a long time but for us, it has been a long time coming," said Wade Smith, who is James uncle.

Smith says they believe this is a step towards closure. However, they still want answers.

"We want to know the one who did it," Smith said. "For them to come to justice."

"We are devastated for all the families," Karen Maynard, Dereck James' mother, said. "Just some kind of closure, you know, we still want answers as to why."

(Note: An indictment is not proof of guilt or innocence but a decision by a grand jury that there is enough evidence to move to trial.)

 

March 5, 2018

INEZ MAN INDICTED FOR 2nd DEGREE MANSLAUGHTER BY MARTIN CO. GRAND JURY STEMMING FROM DECEMBER 2017 SHOOTING DEATH OF RODNEY STEPP

SIX WAS ALSO INDICTED TWO MONTHS EARLIER ON SEPARATE CHARGES RELATED TO THE CASE, INVOLVING HIS RESISTING ARREST BY POLICE OFFICERS SHORTLY AFTER THE SHOOTING

MAY 5, 2018 - written by WADE QUEEN

 

A Martin County grand jury indicted a man for the second time in two months for the same related case, this time he was slapped with second-degree manslaughter in connection with a deadly shooting late last year.

Police say Elwood "Woody" Six, 66, of Inez, shot and killed Rodney "Cockeye" Stepp in December 2017.

The latest Martin County grand jury indictment was issued on Tuesday May 1.

The earlier indictment on Six came on March 1, for charges related to Six's arrest after the shooting when Martin County deputies attempted to arrest him and things turned violent, leading to an altercation while Elwoood Six was still armed with the gun he killed Stepp with.

The resulting fracas with the sheriff and 4 to 5 deputies led to Martin County Sheriff John H. Kirk being injured, which subsequently led to Kirk to have a overnight hospitalization.

After being taken into custody, Elwood Six was charged with four criminal offenses connected to his arrest scuffle, but was not charged with the shooting of Rodney Stepp.

The investigation for the shooting case was handled by the Kentucky State Police, Post 9 - Pikeville, who turned over the completion of their findings to the grand jury in early April.

INDICTMENTS FROM ARREST OF SIX

The earlier indictments for the four charges stemming from Six's arrest in December came back on March 1, which were for:

• WANTON ENDANGERMENT-1ST DEGREE-POLICE OFFICER,

• RESISTING ARREST,

• MENACING,

• DISORDERLY CONDUCT, 2ND DEGREE.

The wanton endangerment charge 1st Degree of a Police officer is a class D felony, with a prison sentence of 1 to 5 years. The resisting arrest charge is a class A misdemeanor, with a prison sentence of up to a year. The menacing and 2nd Degree Disorderly Conduct charges are each a class B misdemeanor charges, with both separately having a prison sentence of up to 90 days,

Due to Elwood Six first indictments were not returned for almost 3 months, Mr. Six was released from jail on bond in mid-February, because of the state law that orders that anyone initially arrested on any criminal charge can not be held in jail detention for more than 60 days if they have not yet been indicted by a grand jury on those said charges.

On the day of his March 1 indictment, Elwood Six was arrested in Boyd County on 4 warrants, which came from his grand jury indictment.

Elwood was released several days later from the Boyd County Detention on a $5000 cash bond.

###

Latest indictment charge on May 1;

MANSLAUGHTER 2ND DEGREE; it is a Class C felony, which carries a sentence of 5 to 10 years.

Elwood Six was arrested on the manslaughter charge on Thursday, May 3, at 7:55 A.M. by trooper Mike Goble of the Kentucky State Police-Post 9-Pikevelle.

Elwood Six was booked and lodged at the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center in Paintsville, where he is being held on a $10,155 full cash bond.

He will be arraigned in Martin Circuit Court May 17.

*  Note: An indictment is not proof of guilt or innocence but a charge that there is enough evidence to proceed to trial.


REVIEWING THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE ELWOOD SIX SHOOTING RODNEY STEPP AND THEN LATER MESSY ARREST OF 'WOODY'

On the morning of December 6, 2017, Martin County Sheriff John H. Kirk, along with deputies, said they received a call to respond shortly after 3 A.M. on Electra Glide Lane off of the 100 block of Davella Road in the Debord area for a man who had been shot.

Residence at Middlefork in Martin County where the confrontation between Woody Six and Rodney Stepp took place and stepp lost his life.Residence at Middlefork in Martin County where the confrontation between Woody Six and Rodney Stepp took place and stepp lost his life.

When deputies arrived on scene, the found Elwood Six standing beside what appeared to be a man with blood on the ground.

Rodney Stepp's wife told responding officers Six admitted to her to shooting her husband.

Deputies say Six ignored commands by them to show his hands. They had earlier been told by dispatch that Six was armed.

According to the criminal complaint, Six told deputies to "shoot me."

Martin County Sheriff John Kirk went to try and take Six down when he (Six) reached into his pants pocket.

Rodney SteppRodney Stepp

According to the criminal complaint, Six was taken to the ground by multiple deputies but kept trying to reach for his pockets.

A handgun was eventually removed from his right pants pocket.

Six's hands had to be forced behind his back and he continued not to listen to verbal commands.

Sheriff Kirk had to be taken to the ER as a result of the arrest.

No motive has as of yet been given for shooting death of Rodney Stepp by Elwood Six. In fact, some of Stepp's neighbors said Stepp and Six spent most of the day Tuesday, December 5, shopping and eating together at the Huntington Mall in Barboursville, West Virginia.

Six has reportedly maintained he acted in self defense in the shooting of Stepp which is believed to be a reason he was not charged with murder.

 

 

 

 

 

May 4, 2018

Lawrence Co. nearly even in Republican-Democrat registration; 312 more Dems 

GOP has more new voters than Dems statewide

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 4, 2018) – A total of 3,368,119 Kentuckians are registered to vote in the Primary Election on May 22, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced Friday.

In Lawrence County, a traditionally Democrat majority, the GOP has nearly drawn even in the latest statistics showing Democrats leading by only 312 voters in the latest charts, 6,055 to the GOP's 5,743. Independents 297.

 

Statewide Democratic voters represent just more than 50 percent of the electorate with 1.68 million registered voters. Republican voters total 1.39 million or about 41 percent of voters, and 8.5 percent of voters – about 289,000 – affiliate with another party or as "Other".

The total registered represents a net increase of about 62,000 voters since the 2016 General Election, the last statewide election in the Commonwealth.

 

Voter statistics chart Law Mer John 2018Voter statistics chart Law Mer John 2018

"GoVoteKY, our statewide registration initiative, has been wildly successful," Grimes said. "It is easier than ever before for people to get registered and make changes to their registration online at GoVoteKY.com, our one-stop voter portal. We are excited people – especially young Kentuckians – are using the online tools to become a voter and get prepared to participate in the process."

More than half of all new registered voters since November 2016 are young people. Nearly 77,000 18-25 year olds have signed up to vote since the presidential election, representing about 55 percent of all new people on the voting rolls.

Nearly 50,000 new voters used GoVoteKY.com to register since the launch of online voter registration in March 2016. Just more than 21,000 registered as Democrats, 18,700 as Republicans, and about 9,300 as some other affiliation. More than 650,000 Kentuckians have visited the portal and more than 200,000 applications have been submitted and processed.

Most voters added to the rolls in the last year and a half said they were affiliated with the two major parties with 56,178 voters registering Democrat and 65,456 registering Republican. Nearly 18,500 voters chose to affiliate with another party or as "other."

In each of Kentucky's six Congressional Districts, Republicans and "Other" observed a net gain of voters while Democrats gained voters in the Second, Fourth, and Sixth Districts but lost in the First, Second and Fifth Districts.

"The people's interests are better represented when a majority of voters go to the polls to make choices about who serves in elected office," said Grimes. "This is a huge election year in Kentucky with local offices all the way up to Congressional seats on the ballot. Every Kentucky voter should make it a priority to vote."

Grimes urges Kentucky voters to visit GoVoteKY.com, the Commonwealth's one-stop elections portal for voter resources, for information on absentee voting, voter registration status, sample ballots, and locating polling places.

Complete registration statistics are available on the State Board of Elections website, elect.ky.gov.

 

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