Updated 8 months ago by Josh Breslow
A Pulaski County man has been charged with murder because authorities say he led them on a chase and caused a weekend crash that killed a college student.
Justin Litton, 36, was arrested Monday night immediately following his release from UK Hospital where he was being treated for his injuries. Investigators say Litton sped away from a Pulaski County deputy sheriff Saturday night on Kentucky 80 in Somerset, intentionally slamming head-on into the vehicle of 33-year-old Levi Stephens.
Stephens was pronounced dead at the hospital.
"I'm still in shock and numb. Angry. All those feelings right now. I just expect him to walk in the door still, even though I know he's not going to," the victim's mother, Teresa Stephens-Davis told LEX 18.
Stephens-Davis said her son had recently enrolled in classes at Somerset Community College, where he was on his way to becoming a history teacher. She describes her boy as a "teddy bear," saying he was a friendly guy who knew no strangers.
"He was a big guy with a big heart," said the victim's friend of more than a decade, Bobby Jordan Bruce. "I had a really bad accident one time and he was there for me the whole time I was in the hospital. For five days, he never left my side, not one time. That's a friend. That's my best friend."
Officials with the Pulaski County Jail told LEX 18 that Justin Litton has an "extensive criminal history." The 36-year-old was arrested last month charged with DUI. Litton was released on bond about a week before Saturday's crash.
"I'm not gonna hate him for doing it. I don't hate anybody. But I dislike him. And I think he should have to pay for what he did," said Stephens-Davis.
Justin Litton declined LEX 18's request Tuesday for an interview from the Pulaski County Jail. He is expected in court Wednesday morning.
In 2011, Justin Litton's brother, Jeremiah Litton was shot and killed also in Pulaski County. The man accused of pulling the trigger was initially charged with murder, but that charge never made it past the grand jury.
Stephens' mother has created a Facebook page entitled "In Memory Of Levi Stephens."
Donations can be made "In Memory of Levi Stephens" to The McCreary Christian Center, P.O. Box 363, 76 Medical Lane Whitley City, KY 42653. They can also be dropped off at Pine Knot Funeral Home.
Visitation for Levi Stephens will be Friday, March 22 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Pine Knot Funeral Home in McCreary County. The funeral will be Saturday, March 23 at 2 p.m. in the chapel of Pine Knot Funeral Home.