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Attorney General Coleman appeals dismissal of Fayette County wanton murder case

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Posted at 11:18 AM, Jun 18, 2024

(LEX 18) — Kentucky Attorney General Russell Coleman announced on Tuesday that his office appealed the Fayette County Circuit Court's dismissal of a wanton murder indictment.

According to a release, in March 2021, a Fayette County Grand Jury indicted 38-year-old Cornell Thomas II on one count of wanton murder and one count of leaving the scene of an accident.

The release states that court filings alleged that Thomas was "speeding at more than 90 miles per hour when he maneuvered around stopped traffic, ran a red light, and t-boned another vehicle." As a result of the wreck, the driver of the vehicle t-boned was killed.

According to records, it was alleged that Thomas fled the scene and then attempted to flee on foot before being stopped by police.

After a pretrial hearing that included testimony from an expert witness, the Fayette County Circuit Court dismissed the indictment due to "a lack of evidence and finding the defendant was unfairly prosecuted," according to the release.

Attorney General Coleman's appeal wants the Court of Appeals to reverse the dismissal and reinstate the indictment.

The Attorney General released the following regarding the appeal:

“In our legal system, everyone has a particular role and a weighty responsibility. Based on the facts and the evidence, Commonwealth’s Attorney Kimberly Baird and her team are prosecuting this case fully and fairly. Now, it’s the jury’s role – and the jury’s alone – to decide guilt. We’re asking the Court of Appeals to fix this error, allow this case to go before a jury and deliver justice for everyone involved.”

The Lexington Police Department investigated the case.