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Who is Herbert Lee? What we know about the man allegedly involved in the Shawnee Park shooting

Since the convictions following a 2008 crash that killed four teens, Lee has been convicted of four additional felonies and 10 misdemeanors.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The man accused of shooting a Louisville Metro Police Department officer Sunday has a long history with the law in Jefferson County.

According to LMPD, Herbert Lee had 12 outstanding warrants. When police tried to arrest him, they say he fired a gun, hitting an officer before running away.

LMPD Chief Erika Shields said Lee continued to flee and ended up in a standoff with officers. She said they fired several times, striking Lee, and rendered aid until he was transported to the hospital.

In an emailed release, LMPD detailed the 12 charges Lee had warrants out for. They included: 

  • Possession of Handgun By Convicted Felon
  • Theft By Unlawful Taking Firearm
  • Tampering With Physical Evidence
  • Receiving Stolen Property (Firearm)
  • Fleeing/Evading 1st degree (on foot)
  • Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument 2nd Degree
  • Theft By Deception
  • Probation Violation
  • Receiving Stolen Property
  • Wanton Endangerment 1st Degree
  • Violation of Emergency Protective Order
  • Harassment With Physical Contact

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Once released from the hospital, police said they'll file the following five additional charges against Lee: 

  • Receiving Stolen Property (firearm)
  • Restricted Ammunition
  • Attempted Murder Of A Police Officer
  • Possession Of A Handgun By A Convicted Felon
  • Fleeing/Evading 1st degree (on foot)

According to court records, Lee's history with the Kentucky court system dates back to 2008. When Lee was 16, he drove four teens home from a field trip. Police reported that he was driving a stolen car and when they tried to pull him over, Lee fled.

He led officers on a high-speed chase that ended in a crash. The four teens in the car died.

Lee was the only survivor. He was convicted of four counts of manslaughter in 2010 and served one year at a juvenile detention facility.

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Lee has been in and out of court several times since his first conviction

Since the convictions following the 2008 crash, Lee has been convicted of four additional felonies and 10 misdemeanors.

In addition to being wanted on several outstanding warrants, Lee has several instances in his record where he's been accused of running away from police.

In 2012, seven months after being released from juvenile detention, Lee was arrested again for stealing a car and was sentenced to three years.

Two years later, in 2014, Lee was in court again. According to an arrest slip, Lee fled from police. After he ran, police noticed the car he was driving was stolen. They went after him and, after catching him and putting him in the police cruiser, Lee kicked out the driver's side window and tried to jump out of the moving vehicle. 

For that incident, Lee was found guilty of being a persistent felony offender, which enhanced his charge of receiving stolen property. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Oct. 9, 2014. 

According to court records, Lee's next charges were filed in October 2018, four years after receiving that 10-year prison sentence. All of Lee's 2018 cases were dismissed. 

He did plead guilty to a felony in 2019 to complicity to receive stolen property under $10,000 charge. Lee was sentenced to two years in prison on Dec. 12, 2019. 

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In December 2020, Lee was back in court. He initially faced several charges, including a felony strangulation charge. He ended up accepting a deal and pleaded guilty to Assault 4 Domestic Violence causing minor injury. Lee was ordered to serve a suspended sentence of 365 days, meaning he wouldn't face jail time if he didn't violate the conditions of his probation.

According to the arrest slip associated with the December 2020 case, a woman reported to police that Lee "punched her in the face" and "strangled her in the front room, dragged her to bedroom by the hair and strangled her again."

In June 2021, Lee was arrested for a variety of charges including theft and felon in possession of a handgun. According to court documents, police said Lee fled when he was approached by an officer, but was eventually caught and charged. Lee posted bail for those charges on Oct. 11, 2021. 

On Dec. 19, 2021, Lee was arrested again for allegedly forging checks. Lee was released on a personal recognizance bond on Dec. 20, 2021. 

According to court records, Lee appeared in court in person on Feb. 23, 2022. 

A judge issued a bench warrant for Lee's arrest on March 29, 2022, stating in court records that he failed to appear at a scheduled hearing. 

The judge presiding over the case stemming from Lee's June 2021 arrest issued another bench warrant for Lee's arrest on April 29, 2022.

Kentucky's parole laws allow most incarcerated people to be released from prison early

Depending on the crime a person is convicted of, they may be able to be released from prison early under Kentucky law. 

That's because most people are eligible for parole after serving at least 20% of their sentence. 

For more serious crimes, like capital offenses, a person must serve a minimum of 50% of their sentence or 85% of their sentence depending on when the crime was committed. 

"It doesn't mean you will be released, but you're eligible for release," Attorney Jason Nemes said. 

Nemes, who's also a state representative from Louisville, said the goal of allowing people to get out on parole is to reduce the number of future victims while also helping to get people with criminal convictions the help they need. 

"We want to increase public safety," Nemes said. "We think incentivizing those types of programs — education, job, workforce and drug treatment — [helps]. Also, my brother is a correctional officer. This is something that means something to me, personally. We want the defendants to have an incentive to behave while they're in jail or in prison. That makes the jails and prisons safer for corrections officers and also the other inmates."

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