LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Some of the most high profile court cases in our area drew a slurry of national attention this year. They were cases that spanned many years, some of them costing millions of dollars, several with shocking conclusions.
Kickball game turns into a deadly shooting
In 2013, two men, Quentin Wilson and William Smith went to trial, accused of firing into a crowd of more than 100 people at the game, killing Antonio Anderson, a father of eight. Wilson and Smith were found guilty of murder, wanton endangerment, and tampering with evidence. Wilson was sentenced to 50 years in prison, Smith to 24 years.
Louisville woman accused of setting fire to her business
In June, Susan Lukjan went to trial for a second time, hoping to clear her name. She was accused of torching her St. Matthews business in 2006. In the end, the jury found her guilty; a verdict that shocked Lukjan.
“It’s not but a game,” Lukjan said on her way out of the courthouse, “Who plays the best cards and who can out deceive the other and it’s nothing but a deception. It’s pitiful.”
Lukjan eventually struck a deal with prosecutors during the sentencing phase. She’ll be on probation for five years.
Jeffersonville man accused of stabbing estranged wife while children watch
It took a jury less than two hours in January to convict a Jeffersonville man for stabbing his estranged wife more than 60 times in front of their two young children. Dale Bagshaw’s attorney claimed he was legally insane when he killed Kelly Bagshaw in 2011. Even after the guilty verdict, Bagshaw’s son defended his father.
“I still love my father no matter what,” Joshua Bagshaw said, “I still love my dad and I’m not ashamed of him. He’s a great man and he did a wrong thing.”
Bagshaw was sentenced to 60 years behind bars.
Fmr. AG commissioner accused of corruption
It was a stunning case from the beginning, former UK basketball great turned AG commissioner Richie Farmer nailed with felony charges of corruption. He pleaded guilty to misusing funds while in office in a plea deal. If the court approves the plea, he could face up to two years in prison and fines of more than $120,000.
His sentencing is scheduled for January. Meantime, a judge cleared Farmer to travel out of state to Florida for five days to watch his son play basketball this week. Farmer apologized to his family, friends, and the people of the Commonwealth for his misdeeds.
New Albany man accused of killing neighbor may be serial killer
An accused serial killer headed to his first of three murder trials. William Clyde Gibson was arrested after the mutilated body of 75-year-old Christine Whitis was found in his garage. The trial in October was quick. The verdict was even quicker. The jury took just 17 minutes to return a guilty verdict. In late November, Gibson was sentenced to death. His execution is set for November 26th, 2014 before sunrise. He’s also accused of killing two other women. He’ll face those trials within the next year.
It was a twisted story of love, drugs, murder, and lies. Joseph Banis and Jeffery Mundt, a former couple, were accused of murdering James Carroll. Prosecutors laid out a sordid tale; Carroll, a drifter and drug dealer, killed and robbed after having sex with the men. His legs were crushed with a sledgehammer and he was stuffed in a Rubbermaid container and buried in the basement of the couple’s Old Louisville home. Banis and Mundt were tried separately in equally gruesome trials.
Banis was found guilty of murder, robbery, and half a dozen other felony charges. He was sentenced to life in prison. Mundt was found not guilty of murder, but guilty of two lesser charges of robbery facilitation and tampering with evidence. He was sentenced to eight years with credit for time served. His attorney believes he’ll only serve 6-12 months.
Joshua Young found not guilty of murder
National news networks latched on tightly to 17-year-old Joshua Young’s murder trial, pondering whether he was a “baby-faced killer.” The circus reached fever pitch in August when the case went to the jury. Young was on trial for the beating death of his stepbrother Trey Zwicker in 2011.
Before Young’s trial began, his father, Joshua Gouker had been convicted of the crime. Prosecutors believed they worked together. An emotionally charged courtroom waited to see what the jury would say. They found Young not guilty of murder. Young was released to his foster family. The Zwicker family says they still believe Young had something to do with Trey’s death.
Jury acquits David Camm
Thirteen years, millions of dollars, multiple trials. David Camm, a former Indiana State Trooper accused of killing his wife and two young children, faced his final criminal trial. Kim, Brad, and Jill Camm were found shot to death in the garage of the family’s home in Georgetown in 2000. Charles Boney, a man with a long criminal history was convicted of the murders, but he said he was only there to sell Camm a gun.
Camm was convicted of the murders twice before but maintained his innocence. Those convictions were eventually overturned. This year, his third trial was moved to Boone County. That’s where Camm found a jury that finally agreed with him. He walked out of the courthouse a free man. Camm remains in Southern Indiana. He occasionally posts messages to his uncle Sam Lockhart’s Facebook page. He may still face a wrongful death civil suit from Kim Camm’s family.