Sentencings postponed in apartment homicides

Murder suspect Denzel Hill had filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea stemming from a 2017 double homicide, but changed his mind Thursday.

Hill, 26, pleaded guilty in June to two counts of facilitation to commit murder as well as single counts of first-degree wanton endangerment and tampering with physical evidence from a Nov. 7, 2017, shooting at Washington Street Apartments.

Two 16-year-old girls, Adreanna Castro and Kayla Holland, were killed in the apartment complex parking lot.

Hill was scheduled to be sentenced to 20 years in prison Thursday, but Hill’s attorney asked that the hearing be continued to accommodate ongoing discussions with prosecutors. Clark Circuit Judge Jean Chenault Logue then noted Hill’s letter seeking to withdraw his guilty plea. When asked, Hill said he did not want to pursue the matter further.

Hill’s sentencing was rescheduled for Oct. 10. Hill also agreed to testify against the other co-defendants at trial.

One of those co-defendants, Mikaela Buford, was scheduled to be sentenced Thursday as well, but her case was continued to Oct. 10 as well.

Hill, Ronnie Ellis, Darian Skinner and Matthew Carmen were all charged with taking part in the shooting, which police said stemmed from a verbal argument earlier in the day. Around 9 p.m., Buford said she drove Hill, Ellis and Skinner to the apartment complex and waited in the car.

Witnesses said they saw Hill, Skinner and Ellis get out of the car, spread out in the parking lot and start firing. Carmen returned fire from an upper level apartment.

Castro and Holland were leaving an apartment and got caught in the crossfire.

Ellis is awaiting the results from a psychiatric evaluation. Carmen and Skinner have requested separate trials.