3 expected to plead guilty to apartment homicide

Published 12:21 pm Monday, September 19, 2016

Three of the four people charged in a 2014 fatal shooting may plead guilty to their charges next week, according to prosecutors.

During a hearing Thursday in Clark Circuit Court for Lillian Barnett, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Heidi Engel said she expected other three co-defendants, Christopher Robinson, Lamont Wilkerson and Aaron Stailey, to enter guilty pleas next Thursday.

The statement came after the case went through the felony mediation process, where a mediator hears from all participants in a case and attempts to reach an agreed sentence. Mediation, prosecutors said, was successful for Robinson, Stailey and Wilkerson but not for Barnett.

Barnett is scheduled for a trial in Clark Circuit Court Jan. 23, 2017.

Prosecutors previously announced they would seek capital sentences against all four, with the exception of the death penalty.

Robinson, Stailey and Wilkerson are expected to testify under oath as to their roles in the shooting when they appear in court.

The group was indicted for the Dec. 23, 2014, shooting death of 19-year-old Amber Caudill in an apartment complex at 250 Oxford Drive. Police said Barnett drove the three men to the complex and dropped them off, allegedly so they could steal drugs from Justin Meadows, who lived in apartment 47. Meadows told police three men wearing ski masks tried to force their way into his apartment. The three pushed the door open enough for Robinson to enter with a long firearm and fired at least one shot.

Meadows said he returned fire, striking Robinson in the chest. Meadows and his guest Crayvonne Ritchie, were both wounded in the shooting.

A bullet, though, went through the floor and into apartment below, striking and killing Caudill.

Winchester Police detectives said they found less than a dozen marijuana buds in Meadows’ apartment.

Robinson was indicted for capital murder, first-degree burglary and two counts of first-degree assault. Barnett, Wilkerson and Stailey were all indicted for complicity to commit murder, complicity to first-degree burglary and complicity to first-degree assault.

Contact Fred Petke at fred.petke@winchestersun.com.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@bluegrassnewsmedia.com or call 859-759-0051.

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