Jury trial scheduled for 2020
All six suspects accused in the Bethel Street robbery that led to the murder of 20-year-old Corvyan Thomas appeared in court Tuesday afternoon before Judge John Atkins to have a jury trial scheduled for their case in early 2020.
Shakkory D. Willis, 26, James J. Yates, 22, and Lane D. Carter, 20, and the three juveniles, Madison E. Wilson, Tia M. Ochs and Korey Zivotin, all appeared along with their defense attorneys in order to have a trial scheduled.
The three juveniles will be tried as adults after a juvenile court judge, grand jury and Atkins all felt it appropriate given the nature of their charges.
Wilson, Ochs and Zivotin are all charged with complicity to first-degree robbery while Zivotin carries an additional charge of first-degree assault for his alleged involvement.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Rick Boling, who is prosecuting the case, explained that the juveniles were considered youthful offenders and will be tried and treated as adults.
“All of their charges will be handled just as if they were an adult, and whenever disposition occurs, if they are under the age of 18 at the time of disposition, then the Department of Juvenile Justice will be involved,” Boling said.
Boling went on to explain that if they are over the age of 18 by the time they are sentenced on their charges, they would be handled by the Kentucky Department of Corrections.
Youthful offenders are defined as juveniles at the age of 14 or older who are found to be involved in a crime involving a firearm.
“The juvenile doesn’t have to possess the weapon," Boling said. "There just has to be a weapon used in the commission of the offense.”
According to New Era archives and police reports, officers found Dylan Stewart, 19, shot in the leg and Thomas unresponsive with a gunshot wound Jan. 24. Stewart was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Thomas later died from injuries he sustained.
The reports state Carter drove the vehicle that took the suspects to the Bethel Street home while Yates entered the home during the robbery.
In this case, a firearm was used, but no information of whether any of the three juveniles had a weapon has been released.
Willis is the only suspect charged with murder. He is also charged with first-degree robbery and second-degree unlawful transaction with a minor.
Yates and Carter are charged with first-degree complicity to burglary, first-degree complicity to robbery and second-degree unlawful transaction with a minor. Yates has an additional charge of probation violation.
Atkins, Boling and the six defense attorneys agreed for the trial to begin Feb. 17. Atkins said the trial is scheduled from Feb. 17 to Feb. 28, in case the trial lasts longer than a week.
Atkins did not schedule any pretrial conferences. Should any of the six attorneys wish to file a motion in the case, motion hearings will be scheduled. No motions have been scheduled at this time.
Reach Avery Seeger at 270-887-3236 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @AveryNewEra