One of two men who allegedly committed several gas station robberies in Hopkinsville as teenagers received his sentence from Judge John Atkins on Wednesday morning.
Juandez K. Bussell, 20, was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He received 10 years for his 2017 case, which carries three charges of first-degree robbery, and five years for his 2019 robbery case.
Both cases will run consecutively, meaning one after the other.
In the 2019 case, Bussell was charged with attempted first-degree robbery and second-degree burglary.
Bussell’s attorney Jason Pfeil asked Atkins to consider probation for Bussell because he had done everything he was supposed to once he was arrested. Pfeil added that Bussell has shown that he can be a capable, productive member of society.
The judge said he considered probation but felt it more appropriate, considering the seriousness of his charges, to sentence him to the recommended sentence from the commonwealth.
Bussell’s former codefendant, Tequan Owen, 20, has not entered a guilty plea and is scheduled for trial by jury to begin Feb. 20.
In other court news:
A former Hopkinsville police officer accused of perjury appeared in court Wednesday morning before Judge John Atkins to have his trial date rescheduled.
Jefferson Alexander is charged with first-degree perjury in connection to a 2012 case against former city councilwoman Ann Cherry.
Alexander was originally scheduled to begin a two-day trial Jan. 6. However, Alexander’s defense attorney Eric Eaton asked the judge to reschedule the trial because one of the witnesses in his case will not be available.
Eaton said he believed the witness would be an integral part of Alexander’s defense and asked to continue the case to a date when the witness would be available to appear at the trial.
Atkins scheduled a new trial to begin March 16.
According to New Era archives, a Christian County Grand Jury decided to bring charges against Officer Jefferson Alexander and former Commonwealth’s Attorney Lynn Pryor based on the findings of special FBI agent Sean Miller, who began investigating Alexander and Pryor in 2016.
According to the report, Pryor questioned Alexander as a witness before the grand jury in 2012, and while sworn under oath, Alexander allegedly provided false or misleading testimony, which is a Class D felony.
What Alexander lied about is not provided in the grand jury report.
However, the report states special agent Miller approached Pryor in April 2017 about Alexander’s alleged false testimony, and Pryor wouldn’t go forward with the case against Alexander because “Alexander’s statements to the grand jury were more than 12 months ago and no perjury charge could be brought outside the 12-month period.”
Pryor’s alleged statement to Miller was a lie, according to KRS 500.050, which states the prosecution of a felony is not subject to a period of limitation.
Miller didn’t realize there was no statute of limitations on the felony charge until spring 2018, according to the grand jury report.
Miller said he attempted to contact Pryor again to present the case against Alexander to the grand jury last year, but Pryor did not return his calls, the report states.
“He was advised that Pryor was involved in an election, and for that reason, she may be busy,” the grand jury report continues.
Pryor lost the 2018 election to current Commonwealth’s Attorney Rick Boling, whom Miller presented the case to Jan. 31.
The grand jury attempted to indict Pryor for a misdemeanor charge of first-degree official misconduct; however, the statute of limitations on that charge is 12 months, according to KRS 500.050.
Reach Avery Seeger at 270-887-3236 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @AveryNewEra