, Corbin, KY

Local News

April 22, 2014

Man sentenced for robbery, assault

W’burg resident gets 14 years in connection with knife attack

CORBIN — By John L. Ross / Staff Writer

A man who failed to show for a sentencing hearing in March received his sentence Monday.

Thomas Avery Ridner, 24, of Williamsburg, appeared Monday afternoon before Whitley County Circuit Judge Paul Winchester with his attorney, Adam Howard.

Ridner was facing a five-count indictment that included first-degree robbery charges, but after he failed to show for a March 17 sentencing, Winchester issued a warrant for Ridner’s arrest.

JailTracker records show Ridner was arrested by the Kentucky State Police and booked into the Whitley County Detention Center March 21.

Ridner faced several charges in connection with a knife attack on his girlfriend, Jennifer Bryant — first-degree robbery, second-degree assault, and three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment.

Now he faces 14 years behind bars.

During Ridner’s hearing, Howard asked if the sentencing could be continued — but Winchester said no.

It was learned Ridner entered into a plea agreement, which dropped the three first-degree wanton endangerment charges.

As per the agreement, Winchester sentenced Ridner to seven years for second-degree robbery, and another seven years for second-degree assault. Those sentences are to be served consecutively, the judge said. Ridner must also pay $467 in restitution.

Ridner was indicted for these charges in February 2013.

On Jan. 13, 2013, Ridner slashed Bryant’s hand with a knife and stole her purse and prescription pills.

The first count of his indictment charges first-degree robbery after allegedly using physical force to rob Bryant. The second count charges second-degree assault for reportedly stabbing Bryant.

The third, fourth and fifth counts indict Ridner on three separate charges of first-degree wanton endangerment. Count three involves Bryant, and charges he pushed her down and attempted to cut her with the knife. Count four involves Bryant’s then 1-month-old infant, whom Bryant was holding when Ridner allegedly pushed her to the floor. Count five involves Bryant’s mother, Patsy Bryant, whom Ridner reportedly attempted to cut with a knife.

Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird said Ridner forced his way into Bryant’s home through the basement door, demanding both the purse and pills.

Bird said that when Bryant failed to comply with his demand, the two struggled and Bryant was stabbed. Bird added that Ridner then threatened Patsy Bryant with the knife, and she came to the defense by striking Ridner with a stick.

Ridner then took the purse and pills and fled. Her purse was found by police in a wooded area near her home.

Ridner was arrested by Officer Jason Strunk later that evening at his Reservoir Street home.

Just about a year earlier, Williamsburg Police were dispatched to that same home to investigate a report of an attempted home invasion. During that alleged crime, the man accused of attempting the break-in, Justin Douglas, was in an altercation with Ridner. During that altercation, Douglas was stabbed in the chest and received non-life-threatening injuries.

While Ridner was out of jail on a $15,000 fully-secured bond with an ankle bracelet, he was jailed again June 17 on two counts of failure to appear and second-degree promoting contraband. His previous bond was then reinstated, and he was released Nov. 25. He was also arrested Feb. 17 on non payment of fine charges and released Feb. 28.

After Monday’s appearance he was remanded back into the custody of the detention center.


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