, Corbin, KY

March 18, 2014

arrest warrant issued after man fails to show in court

The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — By John L. Ross, Staff Writer

A man slated for a sentencing hearing Monday ended up with an arrest warrant after he failed to show in court.

Thomas Avery Ridner, 23, was set for his sentencing in Whitley County Circuit Court Monday morning before Judge Paul Winchester — but when he was not in court, his attorney, Adam Howard, said he called the man by phone.

But when the case was recalled Monday afternoon — Ridner was not in the courtroom.

That’s when Winchester issued a warrant for Ridner’s arrest.

Ridner faced several charges in connection with a knife attack on his girlfriend.

Ridner faces charges of first-degree robbery, second-degree assault, and three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment.

He received a five-count indictment for these charges in February.

On Jan. 13, 2013, Ridner allegedly slashed Jennifer 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 one-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 allegedly 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.