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Six charged in connection with hatchet murder in court

Posted at 2:34 PM, Sep 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-26 18:37:38-04

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Six people charged in connection with the brutal hatchet killing of a Mount Sterling man appeared in court Thursday.

Montgomery County authorities said that the murder happened inside the home victim Lenville Josh Smith rented with his accused killer. Richard McGaha is accused of hitting Smith in the head with a small hatchet, killing him.

On Thursday, McGaha entered a not guilty plea to murder and other charges. Five others are charged with tampering with physical evidence and abuse of a corpse. They are accused of helping McGaha hide the body in a deep freezer behind the home before hauling it to Menifee County and tossing it over a hill with Smith's body in it,

Those five were arraigned Thursday: Billy Joe Adkins, Mattie Mahon, Sonya Palmer, Stanley Sargent, and Phillip Tuttle.

All entered guilty pleas and now, all six of the cases will head to a grand jury.

Authorities are still looking into the motive of the murder, but last week, they said there may have been a fight over a woman.