Four charged in 2019 shooting death in Franklin County

Posted at 8:45 PM, Jan 07, 2021

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Four individuals have been charged in connection to the 2019 shooting death of 73-year-old Ronald Thornton.

Samuel Payne, 37 years old of Frankfort, KY, Damaja Hardy, 19 years old of Simpsonville, KY, and Kendrick Bixler, 19 years old of Lawrenceburg, KY, have each been charged with one count of Murder in connection to Thornton's death. Payne and Bixler are currently being lodged at the Franklin County Detention Center. Hardy is currently being lodged at the Shelby County Detention Center. There has also been a juvenile charged with one count of Murder in relation to the investigation.

Kentucky State Police say that on the morning of Oct. 1, 2019, the Franklin County Sheriff's Office received a 911 hang up call from a residence on Pea Ridge Road, and they responded to the scene. When deputies arrived, they found Thornton with life-threatening injuries in the home. He succumbed to his injuries.