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Man originally charged with Lexington murder gets probation after more evidence comes to light

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Posted at 12:27 PM, Nov 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-17 12:27:10-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A man originally charged with a Lexington murder has been sentenced on lesser charges.

Joseph Gonzalez is now a free man, subject to the terms of a two-year supervised probation.

During Joseph Gonzalez's sentencing hearing, two months after a guilty plea, Circuit Court Judge Julie Goodman noted the 237 days Gonzalez had served after being indicted on a murder charge in 2020.

As the evidence began to mount, it became clear to prosecutors that Gonzalez, while certainly involved in a drug deal at the time, was acting in self-defense when he was robbed by Crystal Howard and her son. Howard's death was considered an accident, and the charges against Gonzalez were reduced to reckless homicide and wanton endangerment.

Since the incident, Gonzalez's attorney says he's earned his GED and has held down a job. The court took all of that into consideration.

"When all of the evidence came out ... I think the commonwealth did the right thing here," said Greg Coulson, Gonzalez's attorney.