Commonwealth’s Corner

Published 4:31 pm Wednesday, June 28, 2017

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. Sim’s 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.

• Michael Gilbert was convicted of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance. After conducting a traffic stop, an officer with the Nicholasville Police Department detected an odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. After a positive alert from a trained narcotics detection canine, the officer searched the vehicle. A large quantity of methamphetamine was located. Gilbert was sentenced to five years for the possession of that drug with the intent to sell or transfer it within our community.

• Joshua Johnson was convicted of second-degree burglary and theft by unlawful taking, a value of $10,000 or more. Officers with the Nicholasville Police Department were dispatched to the scene of a residential burglary.  Investigation revealed that forced entry was made through the home’s rear door and a large amount of property was stolen. Following leads from neighbors and the use of social media, law enforcement quickly identified Johnson as the suspect. Working in cooperation with out-of-county officers, stolen property was located and Johnson was charged with the crimes. Johnson was sentenced to five years in a state penitentiary.  

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• Colton Estes was convicted of second-degree robbery.  Officers with the Nicholasville Police Department responded to a robbery that had occurred at the North Main Street Speedway. The officers were able to obtain a description of the suspect. The surrounding area was canvassed and officers were able to get statements from witnesses. Evidence of the crime was also located in the area. With the assistance of a confidential informant, Estes was identified as the perpetrator. Officers obtained a search warrant to compare Estes’s DNA to that of the evidence located on scene. During the execution of that warrant, officers obtained a confession from Estes. He was sentenced to five years in a state penitentiary.

• Bradley Corman was convicted of three separate counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument. The Jessamine County Sheriff’s Office learned that several checks had been written to a local business on a closed bank account. With the assistance of that business owner, Corman was identified and located. Sheriff deputies interviewed Corman and got him to confess to his crimes. He received an enhanced sentence due to his prior felony criminal history. Corman was sentenced to seven years in a state penitentiary.

• Howard Morton was convicted of fourth offense driving under the influence, driving on a DUI suspended license and first-degree fleeing the police. Officers with the Nicholasville Police Department received a tip that an individual who had been consuming alcoholic beverages at a local restaurant had just driven away from that establishment. Within five minutes, an officer had responded to the area and located the vehicle. After initiating his equipment in an effort to conduct a traffic stop, the vehicle fled from the officer. After a pursuit, the vehicle was stopped.  Morton was identified as the operator of the vehicle.  The investigation revealed that he was under the influence of alcohol. Due to his criminal history, including three prior DUI convictions, Morton was sentenced to 10 years in a state penitentiary.