NewsCovering Kentucky


Danville Teen Pleads Guilty To Lesser Charge In Stepmother’s Death

Posted at 4:13 PM, Jan 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-14 23:09:13-05

BOYLE COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) – The Boyle County teen accused in her stepmother’s death pleaded guilty Monday to a lesser charge of manslaughter.

Oakley, alongside her boyfriend, Kenneth Nigh, had been accused of the 2016 death of Rhonda Oakley in Boyle County. The two were found on the run in New Mexico in her stepmother’s car which had been missing from the crime scene. Nigh died by suicide.

Oakley’s attorney had tried to get Oakley’s confession thrown out during several days of a suppression hearing. She also attempted to have the case moved back to juvenile court.

Instead, Oakley pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of first-degree manslaughter and theft of a motor vehicle, regarding Rhonda Oakley’s stolen car.

“I just don’t think it’s fair,” said Oakley’s father Phillip Oakley. “If you take a life you need to suffer the consequences because my wife will never be here again.”

Phillip Oakley has been critical of his daughter since September of 2016. That’s when his wife, Rhonda, was found dead inside their Boyle County home.

“I’ve never heard her say I’m sorry,” He said of his daughter. “I don’t know if she’s sorry. I have no idea.”

Two years later, Oakley says he can’t help but think about how he called police about his daughter and her boyfriend weeks before his wife’s death.

One thing that concerned him was a diary he found, where he says Jenna talked about harming him and his wife.

“If people we had talked to before this all happened would have done something, then we wouldn’t be sitting here right now,” Oakley said.

Oakley says he hates what his daughter did, but he doesn’t necessarily hate his daughter. He does wish she had gone to trial to answer questions and to face a much longer sentence.

Oakley could be sentenced to 15 years for the charges. She will be sentenced February 22.