Families of teens killed in 2017 shooting at Washington Street Apartments sue owners

The families of the two teenagers killed a year ago in a shooting have filed suit against the property owners claiming they did not do enough to keep the site safe.

Adrianna Castro and Kayla Holland were killed in the parking lot of the apartments at 27 E. Washington St. on Nov. 7, 2017.

According to the suit, the girls were at the apartments visiting friends at 31 E. Washington St., which is owned by B&P Apartments.

A gunfight began outside the apartments at 27 E. Washington St., owned by Roberts Property Management, and a resident of 31 E. Washington St., according to the suit.

Police said previously Holland and Castro were caught in the crossfire and fatally shot. The lawsuit claims the girls did not contribute to the gunfight which led to their deaths.

The girls’ parents claim there is a history of “ongoing and pervasive criminal and disruptive activities” at the locations and the owners took “either no steps or insufficient steps to guard or warn against foreseeable criminal activity occurring on the premises.”

The parents are seeking unspecified financial damages and the costs of filing the suit.

Criminal charges are pending in Clark Circuit Court against six people, Matthew Carmen, Ronnie Ellis, Denzel Hill, Darian Skinner, Mikaela Buford and Julia Richardson, in connection with the shooting.

A trial is scheduled for May 13, 2019, though the judge approved felony mediation, which could resolve the case before then.

Police said Buford drove Ellis, Hill and Skinner to the apartments on Nov. 7, 2017, where they became involved in a shooting with Carmen, who lived in the apartments.

Winchester Police Sgt. Tom Beall testified in Clark District Court in 2017 that the shooting appeared to stem from a verbal altercation earlier in the day.

Carmen, Hill, Ellis and Skinner are all facing two counts of murder and one count each of tampering with physical evidence and wanton endangerment.

Buford is charged with two counts of complicity to commit murder and one count of complicity to wanton endangerment.

Richardson is charged with tampering with physical evidence for allegedly removing a box of ammunition from the scene.

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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