The Commonwealth’s Corner is designed to keep readers abreast on the efforts of Commonwealth Attorney Andy Sims to combat criminal activity within the community. Sims and his staff are responsible for the prosecution of all felony criminal cases in the Jessamine Circuit Court. Felony offenses are serious criminal cases where the defendant could receive a prison sentence from one year to life, or even the death penalty in very rare circumstances. Below are noteworthy cases provided by Sims.
• Daniel Stidham – Stidham was convicted of an armed robbery that occurred inside the Nicholasville Krogers on S. Main Street. Stidham approached a cashier working the self-checkout area and brandished a knife. He then demanded money from the cash drawer. He fled the store with approximately $600. The Nicholasville Police Department was contacted and an investigation was promptly initiated. The crime was reported on the news and posted on various social media outlets. The investigation proved successful and Stidham was apprehended and charged. Stidham was convicted of robbery and sentenced to 15 years in a state penitentiary.
This case is a perfect example of effective law enforcement. From inception to apprehension, the investigation could not have been conducted better. I could not be more proud of these officers. Kroger is a thriving business in our community and serves hundreds of our citizens on a daily basis. It needs to be a safe location for our community to shop for their families. With the type of tremendously effective law enforcement demonstrated in this case, I’m confident that it will be. This case will be a significant deterrent to any individual with designs to commit such a heinous act again.
• Andy Mastin – Mastin was convicted of third-degree arson. He wantonly caused damage to a local building by intentionally starting a fire. The investigation was conducted by officers with the Nicholasville Police Department. Those officers were assisted by firefighters with the Nicholasville Fire Department, who were able to conclude that the fire was intentionally set based on the presence of accelerants at the scene. The investigation led officers to Mastin. Mastin was sentenced to five years in prison.
• Ladonna Hacker – Hacker was driving a vehicle that was stopped for reckless driving in traffic at West Jessamine Middle School. While the stop was being conducted by the Nicholasville Police Department, officers determined that she was under the influence. After giving the officers a false name, Hacker fled the scene of the traffic stop. During the course of her flight, she narrowly avoided a collision with a school bus and struck another vehicle in a lane of traffic. In addition, she almost ran her vehicle into the officer directing school traffic. Hacker was eventually located and arrested. She was sentenced to five years in prison for the offenses of first-degree wanton endangerment, first-degree fleeing or evading the police, theft of identity, leaving the scene of an accident, and DUI.