, Corbin, KY

March 19, 2013

Man indicted for beating death of 55-year-old

The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — By John L. Ross, Staff Writer

A man arrested for a December assault, then later charged with murder, was indicted by a Whitley County grand jury Monday.

Samuel E. Plotnick, 36, was handed a seven-count indictment in connection to the beating death of Jimmy D. Peace, 55, of the Corinth Community.

According to Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell, on Dec. 15, deputies and Corbin Police officers responded to a reported burglary in progress at Peace’s home.

Law enforcement found Plotnick, Peace and Plotnick’s girlfriend, Theresa Burnett, 39, together on Peace’s front porch.

Harrell said both Peace and Burnett had visible injuries — Peace’s were mostly to his head.

Plotnick was arrested that night.

Harrell said he kept in contact with Peace’s sister after the December assault. He explained that Peace was treated at Baptist Regional Medical Center (now called Baptist Health Corbin) and released.

But days later, it was discovered that Peace suffered “very severe” internal injuries. According to Fayette County Deputy Coroner John McCarty, Peace “was brought back to BRMC with complications from his injuries.”

McCarty said Peace was transported University of Kentucky Medical Center and “was admitted just after midnight” on Dec. 21.

Peace’s sister told Harrell Peace had been on life support for several days.

Peace died Jan. 2.

McCarty said his autopsy was complete. “The cause of death was complications from multiple blunt-force trauma injuries sustained during the assault,” McCarty said.

The first count on Plotnick’s indictment charges him with murder. This charge was levied Jan. 2, the day Peace died.

The other counts on his indictment involve Plotnick’s arrest Dec. 15.

Counts II through V each indict Plotnick on third-degree assault charges.

Count II involves Plotnick allegedly spitting in the face of Deputy John Hill as Hill arrested Plotnick.

Count III indicts Plotnick for allegedly kicking Officer Jim Miller as Miller attempted to arrest him.

Count IV involves Plotnick reportedly kicking Officer Coy Wilson as Wilson attempted to affect an arrest.

Count V indicts Plotnick for allegedly kicking Officer Jeff Hill while Hill attempted to arrest him.

Count VI indicts Plotnick for fourth-degree assault for reportedly striking Burnett, causing injury.

The last count indicts him for first-degree persistent felony offender after his conviction in 2001 for first-degree sodomy in Whitley County, and his third-degree assault conviction in Oldham County Dec. 26.

Plotnick remains jailed at the Whitley County Detention Center under a $500,000 cash bond. “There’s no reason for this thing,” Harrell said. “We just can’t find out a reason — just all at once it looked like he (Plotnick) lit into him (Peace).”