Powell men plead not guilty in Montgomery murder case

The Mt. Sterling Advocate-Senior Writer

Two arrests have been made and two more are expected in the 2011 Paul Brewer murder case.

Cody Wayne Hall, 31, of Clay City, and Nickie Allen Miller, 53, of Stanton, were both arrested last Friday and charged with murder and first-degree robbery. They are being held at the Montgomery County Regional Jail each on a $2 million bond.

The arrests resulted from a continuous investigation that has involved numerous interviews over the nearly four years since the crime occurred, Sheriff Fred Shortridge said. He said those interviews are ongoing. DNA evidence collected at the crime scene also contributed to the arrests, Shortridge said. He said two women are also expected to be charged in the case.

Brewer, 52, was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds inside the bedroom of his apartment at 418 Natalie Drive on Dec. 22, 2011. His body was found by sheriff’s deputies during a welfare check after Brewer failed to meet his sister for a medical appointment.

Brewer, a former electrician and assembly man at Cooper Standard Automotive, had a heart condition and had recently undergone quadruple bypass surgery.

Shortridge said Brewer had just come into some money shortly before the slaying occurred. He said he believes the suspects were aware of this.

The sheriff said the two women, alleged prostitutes, had been invited into the apartment to reportedly set Brewer up. They reportedly let Hall and Miller inside the residence for the purpose of robbing Brewer, he said.

“Paul had no idea what was going to happen,” Shortridge said.

During the process of the robbery, Brewer was shot. Authorities are not releasing what type of weapon was used in the crime.

“It was senseless,” Shortridge said. “They ended up taking a life they didn’t have to take.”

Brewer was originally from Powell County and was reportedly familiar with Hall. Sheriff’s investigators are also looking for any other possible links between Brewer and the suspects.

The investigation continues as the sheriff’s office looks to tie up any loose ends involving the crime, Shortridge said.

Both men were scheduled to be arraigned last Thursday in Montgomery County District Court.

John Brewer, Paul’s brother, is a former Kentucky State Police trooper. He and Liz Barry, the Brewers’ sister, could not be reached for comment.

Both men pled not guilty and are due back in court on Monday for a preliminary hearing.

A Day in the Life: The man behind the voice on Tradio

WSKV-Ethan Moore

Times Staffwriter

His voice has been heard on the radio and at various events and festivals across the county.

Ethan Moore began working at WSKV in 2005 when his parents purchased the station. He became general manager in 2008.

Moore said he took the position out of necessity. In 2008 a main tower was taken out by a storm and he jumped in to help by doing the managing and general contracting, he said he saved his parents thousands of dollars.

Moore said it can be difficult to work with family.

“Imagine Duck Dynasty,” Moore said, “without the money, and instead replace that with debt.”

After an employee left abruptly Moore began going on air, something he said he never intended to do.

Moore said other parts of his job consists of answering questions, fixing HR issues, sales management and taking client calls when ads need to be changed or modified. He also picks up sound systems if they were used the night before.

According to Moore, on a normal day if they are doing a transfer to another radio station, he wakes up around 5 a.m. to make sure there is a link between their studio and the other one, then he goes back to bed until around 7 a.m. Four days a week around 9 a.m. Moore starts off in the hot seat on Tradio.

Tradio is a trading on the radio type of broadcast where people in the community can call or email the station to let the public know what they have for sale or trade.

Around 1 p.m. is when his day can deviate dramatically. He can be found doing various things such as senior voice recordings at the high school, mash up music production work or commercials throughout the community.

During the weekends, Moore said, if its festival season, he usually packs up and goes to various festivals in the area and provides services such as sound reinforcement.

“Live sound reinforcement is my favorite,” Moore said, “because you get to work with bands.”

When the festival season dies off there is more of a focus on sales such as designing packages or developing new strategies for staff.  Most of the time when Moore is on air he said he does not use a script.

“You want it to sound natural,” Moore said.

Instead of a script, he said he prefers bullet points to get the information because it helps to avoid sounding like your reading.

“I do depend a lot on the ad-lib,” Moore said. “A lot of DJ’s do.”

WSKV also does their broad casting completely live, Moore said this can be good or bad.

He said some stations prerecord voices to avoid mistakes and “Ums.” Moore referred to that as polishing. He said WSKV could do the same but they choose not to because they don’t want it to lose the Eastern Kentucky feel.

Bigger radio stations will simplify everything, Moore said, they usually have a playlist of 100 to 250 songs and they will play those songs over and over.

Moore said WSKV can pretty much play what they want. He said the station has access to 6,000 songs, but can play even more by using CDs. He also said they have a record player they can pull music from.

Moore said another perk to being a smaller station is that they can take requests easier and play music from local bands. He said radio stations can be a segway for small artists to get big.

WSKVs genre is bluegrass and country and it has recently expanded to Americana and southern rock.

“Bluegrass is a niche,” Moore said. “You don’t hear it on many other stations.”

He said every third song is likely to be bluegrass.

When Moore goes to events such as homecoming or prom he said he gets to break out of the bluegrass and country box and play other things such as Rihanna or various other types of music.

“You never know what request you’re going to get when you’re on site,” Moore said. “Especially at a high school.”

Moore said his favorite part of the job is meeting people, whether it be, listeners, employees or folks in the same type of career.

“It gets you into unique positions,” Moore said. “Where you get to meet people you wouldn’t normally meet.”

He also said he enjoys being able to avoid issues such as hardware mishaps. He said it’s very rewarding to fix something right before going on air.

Moore said he plans to continue doing what he’s doing for various reasons.

He said there is a need for radio, it is important for communication across county lines especially for small towns. Moore also said another big reason is the sentimental value.

“It’s kind of a legacy of my parents,” Moore said. “And that means a lot.”

Hall sworn in on school board

Times Editor

Hall Sworn In

The problem that arose at the end of the school board’s last meeting dealing with the District 1 board seat, seems to have been solved. The question was if a letter from the Kentucky Department of Education trumped the state’s election laws and process.

Apparently the letter does not, at least for now.

The Times has learned that in a letter dated Nov. 4, the day after the election, that the commissioner of education has decided to withdraw the re-appointment of Susan Miller to the District 1 board seat. A letter dated Sept. 7 re-appointed Miller after no one had filed to run as a candidate by the candidate’s Aug. 11 deadline. However, two write-in candidates filed late last month, within the deadline for write-in candidates, and the saga began.

The situation began at the beginning of the year when board member Donald Curtis resigned his position after moving out of that district. Following the proper procedures, the board was notified in March that former Clay City Elementary Principal Susan Miller was the new appointee for the seat. That appointment was to last until an election, which happened last Tuesday.

No one filed for the seat, not even Miller. After the August deadline had passed a letter was issued from the Kentucky Department of Education on Sept. 7 stating that Miller was appointed until the end of the term next year. That was due to no one filing for the position.

But under the state election laws, two candidates filed to run as write-in candidates. Kim Hall and Nina Everman, both filed within the deadline for write-in candidates. Hall won the election last week, receiving 155 write-in votes.

Board Attorney Donna Hale had expressed concern because the letter had already appointed Miller and some felt that the appointment meant that there was no seat open for anyone to file as a write-in candidate. But Powell County Attorney explained to the Times that the state board of elections expressed the belief that the seat had to be on the ballot.

“The question for the board is does the board recognize Miller, with her appointment, as being the board member, or do they recognize the person who wins the election,” Hale stated to the board at a meeting two weeks ago. The board voted 3-2 to allow Hale to ask the Powell Circuit Court for a ruling. It is not clear if legal action will continue.

But in the most recent letter, Stephen Pruitt, the Commissioner of Education, withdrew the appointment. In his letter Pruitt stated that “KDE’s legal interpretation is based upon a majority of the opinions of the Kentucky Attorney General, that an election without a properly filed candidate for a board of education seat cannot proceed with write-in candidates alone and that the commissioner of education is to fill the vacancy with an appointment.”

He went on to state, “With that being said, there is a dispute or at least an appearance of inconsistency in the legal interpretations regarding the process for filling a board member vacancy for a remainder of a term when no candidate has filed to run for that seat. For this reason, it is our understanding that a few local county clerks, including your local county clerk, have chosen to allow write-in candidates for the remainder of a board vacancy term. As stated in previous oral and written communications to your district, the commissioner of education will not be interceding where a local county clerk has chosen to hold an election with only write-in candidates for a board of education seat for the remainder of a term.”

Pruitt did further state that the withdrawal did “not alter” the interpretations of the legal issues. However he also decided to “allow the election process” to fill the vacancy.

Hall was sworn in at Monday’s school board meeting as the new representative for District 1. That district includes precincts 1 and 9 in Clay City.

Drug Task Force making a difference

Times Editor

It seems that probation, getting another chance, just does not work for some people.

The weekend before Halloween and carrying over into that following Monday the Powell County Sheriff’s Office Drug Task Force, along with officers from the Kentucky State Police and a parole officer, were able to arrest four people. All of them are now dealing with several charges.

Drug Safe

On Saturday, Oct. 24, the task force assisted Probation and Parole Officer Jason Oney search a residence on Irvine Road in Clay City around 5 p.m. Oney arrested Shelly Poe, 32, of Stanton, on a parole violation.

Poe, no stranger to the court system,  was sentenced to 15 years on charges of manufacturing meth, possessing drug paraphernalia, criminal trespassing and a previous parole violation. She pled guilty to the first three charges and was sentenced on March 4. The last charge she pled guilty to on Oct. 7.

As part of Poe’s case, she was partially revoked and was supposed to be in jail until a bed opened in a longterm rehabilitation center. One did, the Liberty Place for Women Rehab Center in Richmond.

According to court records she failed to report to the center, based on documents filed on Oct. 14.

While at the residence officers found Anthony K. Meadows, 20, of Stanton. Officers searched the residence, as other persons were inside as well. Each person in the house was searched according to police reports, for officer safety.

Meadows was allegedly found to have a white container with two bags of methamphetamine in it and another bag of meth in the band of a hat he was wearing. Officers found a small lockbox safe on the couch and Meadows allegedly stated the safe was his. Meadows opened the safe when asked.

The safe, according to arrest documents, had 12 needles, six loose cigarettes, a spoon, a pill bottle with an unspecified liquid inside, a pack of rolling papers, two plastic bags containing mini bags for meth, a Zippo lighter, a set of scales, a key chain pill bottle, two straws presumably for snorting medications, an empty pen, also presumably used for snorting and razors. There were also other items that may not have been drug related. The report stated that Meadows had 4.24 grams of methamphetamine.

Meadows was also arrested and is facing trafficking in a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance first degree (meth) and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The task force and supporting officers were not through. According to Powell County Sheriff Danny Rogers, the residence on Irvine Road had been under surveillance for “a while.” Now more information led to the arrest of two men on Monday, Oct. 26.

Paul W. Elkins, 48, of Stanton, and Brandon Crabtree, 35, of Liberty, were arrested at a residence on Halls Branch Road near Bowen. Both men were on probation and officers report that they had violated their terms.

Elkins was sentenced back in March to five years which was probated for five years on a trafficking in a controlled substance first degree charge.

Crabtree took a guilty plea to assault fourth degree, criminal mischief third degree and wanton endangerment first degree on Oct. 7. The wanton endangerment charge was originally a kidnapping charge. But that charge was amended. He was also charged with being a persistent felon, but that charge was dismissed.

Crabtree was given five years, but was probated for five years. As part of his probation he was to stay out of Powell County during the probation period.

All three of the men arrested were lodged in the Powell County Detention Center. Poe was lodged in the Montgomery County Regional Jail. All four are being held without bond.

County hires new Emergency Management Director

Times Staffwriter

Tim Addison and Steve Asbury

Tim Addison and Steve Asbury

Powell County has a new Emergency Management Director and a New Assistant Director for emergency management. Steve Asbury said his new job as Emergency Management Director consists of preparing the community for any type of natural or hazardous situation.

Asbury is also the CSEPP financial officer and a liaison for the Clark County Fire Department. He graduated from Harrison County high school in 1991 and went to EKU to become a law enforcement officer but did not finish because he was offered a job at the Cynthiana Fire Department.

Asbury has 19 years of experience as a paid fireman.

“Every aspect of the Job is pretty exciting,” Asbury said.

His training as a fireman has helped to prepare him for his new position, along with online courses through FEMA. Asbury said emergency management comes naturally for fireman.

“When you’re in the fire service,” Asbury said. “You respond to emergencies on a daily basis.”

The emergencies may not always be as large scale as something like a tornado or an earthquake, but they are still emergencies none the less. Since taking the job, Asbury said his immediate plan is to review the Powell County Emergency Action Plan and try to prepare for the upcoming winter season.

The emergency action plan is a written guideline that entails what to do in the event of an emergency.

“We just want to make sure it runs as smoothly as possible.” Asbury said.

Assistant Director for Emergency Management Tim Addison said the plan is to be even more prepared than they were last year when 14 inches of snow hit in a matter of 24 hours. He said the snow took everyone by surprise.

“We did manage to get through it,” Addison said.

Addison has been the assistant director for emergency management for about two weeks but he has been in dispatch for six years.

“I feel like I could help tremendously when EOC is activated,” Addison said. “Because I have a lot of experience in dispatch.”

Addison said the job is rewarding, and there is no better feeling than helping people. Asbury said no mistakes were made last year during the state of emergency.

“It’s not learning from your mistakes,” Asbury said. “But there’s always room for improvement.”

Asbury described emergency management as a collective effort. He said Addison and himself are a team.

“We strive to get the community prepared for a disaster.” Addison said.

He said everybody came together last year and it really worked out and he feels that they did a great job.

For anyone interested in becoming a volunteer they can contact Steve Asbury at the Powell County Judge Executive office. Asbury said there will be a screening process. If selected, volunteers will be trained on taking calls and effective communication skills. There are also free online FEMA courses that Asbury said he would like to see volunteers take.

Bevin makes stop in Powell

Times Photo by James Cook

Times Photo by James Cook

Republican candidate for Kentucky Governor, Matt Bevin, made a stop in Stanton last Friday evening. Bevin thanked the crowd for coming out and spoke to them about how his opponent and the Democratic party has decided to invest money in a campaign of lies against him since they “can’t get their candidate above 45 percent in the polls, so they have to try to keep me from getting over 45.” Bevin answered questions about his ideas and plans, including his idea on how to deal with the state’s endangered pension plans for teachers and other state employees.. Bevin also discussed his ideas for promoting tourism and challenging the EPA since they “have no legal authority as appointed individuals” to do most of the things they are trying to do to Kentucky coal.

Derickson wants to help keep friends and community warm this winter

Times Staffwriter

As colder weather descends upon us and soon the hustle and bustle of the holidays will get our attention, one Powell County girl wants to start now to help make sure others stay warm when the winter winds blow.

Peyton Derickson

An 8th grader at Powell County Middle School has taken it upon herself to start the “Keep A Kid Warm” blanket drive for her fellow students and the community.

Peyton Derickson, 14, said she decided to start the blanket drive because of how cold it got last winter. She said she hates to imagine anyone being cold especially one of her friends, peers or a small child.

“It’s just sad to think about,” Derickson said.

Derickson, with the help of her mother, organized the drive so students would have something to snuggle up with and keep warm. If the students wanted or needed a blanket they could just come by and take one.

“Even if it was just one or two blankets,” Derickson said. “I would be happy just to help one person out.”

Derickson said she wanted to get an early start, so they are accepting donations from now until Dec. 11. Anyone wishing to donate can bring their new or gently used, clean, blankets to the Powell County Middle School.

Derickson said in a flyer that has been posted around town to help with the drive, that the blanket does not have to be expensive.

“It just needs to be donated,” Derickson said. “With a caring, giving attitude of love.”

Homecoming candidates ready, inaugural parade set for Thursday

Special to the Times

PCHS is celebrating Homecoming this week with several fun activities including an inaugural Homecoming Parade.

The Homecoming Parade will start at 7 p.m. tonight,  Thursday, Oct. 8.

The parade will feature this year’s Homecoming Candidates, 2014 Homecoming Queen Mary Maze,  2015 Miss Powell County Brooklyn Tipton, various PCHS clubs, the PCHS Pep Band and PCHS fall sports including volleyball, golf, cheerleading, soccer, and football teams.  The parade route will begin at Whitaker Bank and travel to PCHS.

The annual Homecoming bonfire will begin shortly after the parade at approximately 8 p.m. at the football field.  Powell County Judge Executive James Anderson will be the speaker at the bonfire.  Anderson was a member of the first football team in PCHS history in 1992 and a graduate of PCHS in 1993.

The school is also encouraging the community and businesses to show their Pirate pride by decorating their windows, yards and store fronts throughout the week. Decorating your business to honor homecoming week will help to build our school spirit and unite our community.

A special community member will judge the decorations of the participating businesses and select the business that they feel has shown the most Pirate Spirit through their display. Judging will take place on Friday, Oct. 9 and awards will be announced prior to the football game that evening.  Any business or individual who wants to have their name placed on a list so that they can be judged, please contact Gretchen Brewer at PCHS, 663-3320 or gretchen.brewer@powell.kyschools.us.

Friday is the highlight of Homecoming Week.  Tailgating will begin at 5:30 p.m.  Groups or businesses can reserve their own tailgate spot by contacting Chris Varney at PCHS (663-3320) or chris.varney@powell.kyschools.us.  As part of an effort to increase involvement with former players, first year head coach and Pirate alumnus, Coach Brandon Brewer and the school are encouraging former players, cheerleaders and band members to attend this big district game. Tents will be set up to welcome these former Pirates, allowing them a place to visit throughout the game.

At approximately 7:15 p.m., a part of our Pirate history will be honored as the 1992 PCHS football team will be recognized.  This was the very first football team in PCHS history.

Kick off is set for 7:30 p.m. as the Powell County Pirates take on the Breathitt County Bobcats.  Fans are encouraged to wear black for a Pirate “Black Out”. This is the first district meeting between these teams with the new district realignments this season.  During halftime, the homecoming court will be presented and the 2015 Homecoming Queen will be crowned. The Homecoming dance will begin immediately following the game.

Make plans to come out and support our school and especially our students at the parade and football game.

Red River Clean-Up in Clay City nets 100 tires and assorted trash

Special Correspondent

Clean Up 1

On Sept. 25-26 there were 20 people in two teams who participated in what might be the first ever organized river cleanup around Clay City.

Beginning below the historic dam site on Red River just above Clay City Park we paddled in canoes and kayaks while towing inflatable kayaks known as “duckies” and pulled tires and other garbage out of the river and floated the trash downstream to various pickup points. From there the group push, pulled, and wrestled it all to the tops of the banks, loaded it into a truck, and hauled it to a waiting dumpster at the old wastewater treatment site across from the park.

Approximately 100 tires were removed from the riverbed along with a lesser amount of assorted garbage including a glass television tube, a bucket seat, an electric motor, part of a truck camper top, and a surprise deer carcass.  While there is still a lot of garbage left to remove, the cleanup was a success in the sense that it was a first step to a cleaner river.

This effort was organized locally to begin what will hopefully become an annual event to improve water quality and make paddling and fishing in the river around Clay City more enjoyable.

The city has applied for a grant to develop a boat dock put in at the Clay City Park and there are ongoing efforts to improve a take out at the old wastewater treatment plant which will provide the opportunity for a family friendly four mile paddle around Clay City connected by a short walk.  This unique situation has the potential to become a marketable attraction in Clay City.

A two car shuttle is not necessary for a boat trip around the city meaning the trip—which can take from an hour to two hours—is family friendly and simple to do.

The cleanup would not have been possible without the volunteers who came out and provided the muscle and those who supported us beyond the banks of the river.  Advanced Disposal donated a dumpster to haul off the tires and trash which made the event possible.  A big thank you goes out to the city council for its support as well.

Keeping our streams and rivers clean is important to community and individual health.  We depend on the Red River as a water source and therefore it is vitally important to take care of it.  If you want to get involved there is a Facebook page for an unofficial Friends of Red River group.  Please join! https://www.facebook.com/groups/1631099007134729/

Accidents claim two lives, send five to hospitals

Fatal WReck

Times Editor

The past week has been a busy and tragic one for Powell County emergency personnel. At least five people were sent to area hospitals and two people died as a result of three major accidents, according to reports.

Powell County Sheriff’s Deputy Chase Friel reported that late last Wednesday evening a Chevrolet Camero, driven by Timothy Stump, crossed the road and struck a tree in a straight stretch on Campton Road. The accident happened between the Veterans Cemetery and the Bowen School. Friel stated that there appeared to be no indication of why the vehicle, heading north bound on Highway 15, crossed the road. Friel said that the car hit an embankment and then went head-on into a tree.

Fire personnel from Middle Fork and Stanton were utilized at the scene and to set up two different helicopter landing zones. Both Stump and his passenger, Billie Sue Mays, were transported to the hospital. Stump succumbed to his injuries and died at the hospital. Friel is still investigating the accident.

On Saturday evening a strange call came in as a light rain was falling.  Report of a car striking a house on Black Creek Road was called in. Fire and emergency personnel arrived to find a car on it’s top. It was also sitting up against a house.

According to Powell County Deputy Rex Scott, a car belonging to William Gaines of Montgomery County, went off the road struck a fence post and flipped over on its top. The car then slid into the side of a house. The house was not seriously damaged, as best deputies could tell.

However, the occupants in the car were not so lucky.

Gaines, Tim Sizemore, Daniel Dennis, both of Estill County, and a minor female from Powell County, were in the vehicle. All four were taken to area hospitals for treatment. Scott said that finding out who was actually driving may take some time as he has been given conflicting stories.

“They (people in the car) have told me one thing at the scene and something else at the hospital,” Scott said. “But they have told EMT’s something else. It is easy to see who had airbag burns and that would help give some indication. But three are blaming one, then another blames someone else.”

Scott did say it was obvious that Gaines had been drinking. However, it was unclear if any charges had been filed due to the confusion.

Scott said he did not believe that weather played too much of a factor in the accident. No one in the home was injured, but the were reportedly a little shaken by the incident.

Earlier on Saturday, it was reported that Tristan Gage Dotson, 19, of Clay City, died from injuries he suffered in an ATV accident. He was the son of Jerry Dotson and his wife Bobbie, of Clay City, and his mother Tolberetta Frazier and her husband, Eric, of Bath County.

Dotson reportedly had a love for old cars and four wheelers. He was laid to rest on Wednesday. There no other details available at press time.