News Around the State

Coroner rules infant death homicide; police investigating

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky coroner has ruled the death of a 4-month-old infant as homicide and police say they are investigating.

The Fayette County Coroner’s Office says in a Thursday statement that preliminary autopsy results found Landon Mays’ cause of death to be consistent with abusive head trauma. The baby died Sept. 8 at the University of Kentucky Medical Center.

A statement from the Lexington Police Department says medical personnel contacted police Sept. 5 to report possible child abuse. They said the boy had been brought to the hospital for an apparent seizure and was suffering head trauma that was possibly suspicious and non-accidental.

No arrest has been made. Police say they are awaiting lab results from an out-of-state medical examiner.

Teen accused of stabbing grandmother pleads not guilty

LEITCHFIELD, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky teenager accused of slashing his grandmother’s throat and repeatedly stabbing her before calling authorities has pleaded not guilty.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported Wednesday that 18-year-old Douglas R. Barton enter the plea last week to attempted murder and tampering with physical evidence.

The Grayson County Sheriff’s Office says Barton called 911 early one morning this month to report his grandmother was bleeding and appeared to have been stabbed. Barton’s arrest warrant says he admitted to the crime.

It says the two had argued and Barton came up behind her, “pulled her head backwards and reached around, slashing her throat with a knife.” It says she fell and Barton stabbed her several times in the back. The woman is expected to recover.

It’s unclear if Barton has a lawyer.

Kentucky lawmaker sorry for using tax money to ask for votes

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A Democratic lawmaker in Kentucky who is running for re-election has apologized for using taxpayer money to campaign for votes.

State Rep. Wilson Stone used public money to mail a survey to people in his district asking them about various issues that could come before the legislature next year. The survey included the line: “I request your vote and support.”

State GOP officials say that violates state ethics and campaign finance laws. Wednesday, the party filed complaints with the Legislative Ethics Commission and the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance.

In a news release, Stone said the sentence was a mistake and promised to “quickly take steps to rectify the situation.”

Stone has been in the House of Representatives since 2009. He faces Republican Brian “Tiger” Gann in November.

Teen accused of stabbing grandmother pleads not guilty

LEITCHFIELD, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky teenager accused of slashing his grandmother’s throat and repeatedly stabbing her before calling authorities has pleaded not guilty.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported Wednesday that 18-year-old Douglas R. Barton enter the plea last week to attempted murder and tampering with physical evidence.

The Grayson County Sheriff’s Office says Barton called 911 early one morning this month to report his grandmother was bleeding and appeared to have been stabbed. Barton’s arrest warrant says he admitted to the crime.

It says the two had argued and Barton came up behind her, “pulled her head backwards and reached around, slashing her throat with a knife.” It says she fell and Barton stabbed her several times in the back. The woman is expected to recover.

It’s unclear if Barton has a lawyer.

Court to consider if sex offender can be alone with own kids

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Supreme Court has been asked to decide whether a convicted sex offender can spend time alone with his own children.

The Courier Journal reports that 33-year-old Ryan Scott Stone pleaded guilty to third-degree sodomy of a juvenile male relative in 2007.

In 2015, the state learned that Stone was married with two children, who are now 3 and 6. The state won an order from a family court judge barring Stone from being alone with his kids, but a Court of Appeals unanimously reversed that, saying that ruling infringed on his constitutional right to raise a family.

Prosecutor Brian Thomas says children have a “fundamental right to be free from sexual exploitation.” But the Court of Appeals said the state had failed to show the children were at risk.

Arts council seeking artwork from veterans for exhibit

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Arts Council is seeking artwork from military veterans, their spouses and their children for a special exhibit that will go on display later this year.

Arts Council Interim Director Chris Cathers says The Kentucky Veteran Project Exhibit is one way to support and highlight the healing process combat veterans undergo through artistic expression.

Officials plan to open the exhibit in November, ahead of Veterans Day, in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort. In December, the artwork will go on a yearlong statewide tour.

The organization says the deadline to submit applications is Oct. 5.