Tuesday, June 28, 2011
EKB Capsule News...Kentucky...6-29-'11
- When University of Kentucky President Lee T. Todd, Jr. steps down from his post on June 30th, he will join UK's engineering faculty as a tenured professor with a salary of about $162,000 a year. But first, Todd will take a year-long unpaid leave of absence. Instead of a salary, he will receive the retention bonus guaranteed in his contract for staying 10 years. It's worth $511,000, his base salary during his last year of work. The board's executive committee approved Todd's new contract as a professor late Tuesday.
- Gary Robinson, 62, of Ashland, was convicted Tuesday of conspiracy to commit murder in a murder-for-hire scheme. The Greenup businessman got the maximum 20 year prison sentence. Because of the severe physical injury suffered by John Jamison, Robinson will not be eligible for parole for 17 years. Robinson hired Wesley Allen to kill John Jamison to resolve a love triangle in January 2010. Allen, who pleaded guilty to shooting Jamison 10 times and was sentenced to 17 years in prison, testified against Robinson. John Jamison remains in a nursing home. The prosecutor says Robinson’s arrogance, power, money and ego drove him to pay the convicted felon and crack cocaine addict 25 thousand dollars and a truck to shoot and kill the husband of his on again off again mistress Dana Jamison, who is also the mother of Gary Robinson’s child.
- The New York Racing Association, Inc., announced Monday that New York native Joseph Cornacchia, co-owner of Kentucky Derby winners Strike the Gold and Go For Gin, died Sunday in New York of natural causes at the age of 78. Cornacchia, raised in Queens, made a fortune manufacturing the popular board game Trivial Pursuit. He founded The Games Gang, which also produced Pictionary and Balderdash. He partnered with B. Giles Brophy and William Condren to buy Strike the Gold as a 2 year old in 1990 and won the Derby a year later. Cornacchia and Condren won the 1994 Derby with Go For Gin and the 1996 Preakness with Louis Quatorze. He served on the NYRA board of directors from 1998-2008.
- The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered Kentucky death row inmate 62 year old David Eugene Matthews be retried within 180 days in the death of his estranged wife, Mary "Marlene" Matthews, and mother-in-law, Magdalene Cruse, which occurred in Louisville on June 29, 1981. Judge Eric Clay wrote that the trial judge misinterpreted Kentucky's law on an extreme emotional distress defense and allowed prosecutors to claim during closing arguments that Matthews and his attorneys concocted the issue in an attempt to avoid conviction. Clay, joined by Judge Karen Nelson Moore, also ordered the state to determine if Matthews can legally be retried or must be released because the constitutional prohibition on being tried twice for the same crime applies in this case. Judge Eugene Siler Jr. dissented, saying the judge properly interpreted the law, and prosecutors withdrew the offending statement in closing arguments. Matthews has been on death row for 29 years.
- State police in Rowan County and a dive team were on the scene Tuesday when a body was found inside a vehicle believed to have been driven into a pond on Cranston Road in Morehead Monday night. Officials say someone with the fire department was checking hydrants around 10:30 A.M. and noticed one that had been knocked over along with some tire tracks leading into the water. A dive team was then called in from Grayson to help in the search. Frank E. Christeson, 49, of Morehead, who worked at a local Huddle House restaurant, was pronounced dead at 3:15 P.M. Rowan County Coroner John Northcutt says drowning is the primary cause of death.
- Hundreds of sex offenders live in Kentucky, and every year they must register their current address with the state. Under a roundup, dubbed "Operation Frontier Trails" Tuesday, U.S. Marshals in Bath, Clark, Estill, Fleming, Menifee, Montgomery, Nicholas, Powell and Rowan counties hit the streets searching for 15 who are somehow breaking the rules, including one offender living with a child. Marshals say they are working with 18 agencies in the nine counties.
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