Court Report

LAUREL COUNTY - On Friday a Laurel County grand jury indicted three men on murder charges stemming from three separate incidents.

Edward Dale Brewer, 42, of Lexington was indicted on one count of murder in relation to a victim being found in Levi Jackson State Park near the amphitheater on July 1.

Brewer was arrested two days later and was found connected to the homicide through an investigation conducted by the London Police Department.

According to the Laurel County Correctional Center’s jail tracker, Brewer was released on October 2. Officials at the jail were not permitted to say if he was released on bond or into federal custody. Brewer’s bond was set at $250,000 cash.

Also indicted Friday for murder was James Thomas Morgan Jr., 56, of London.

Investigators with the Laurel County Sheriff's Office reported that in August during a verbal domestic argument inside a residence, Morgan shot his stepson once in the chest causing a fatal injury to the victim.

The victim was identified as Matthew Tosh, 31, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Morgan remains detained in the Laurel County Correctional Center on a $250,000 cash bond.

Joseph Lee Benge, 40, of London who was charged with killing his parents last month was also indicted on two counts of murder Friday.

Benge was also indicted on one count of robbery in the first degree, and theft by unlawful taking of the value of $10,000 or more.

Detective Taylor McDaniel with the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office told prosecuting and defense attorneys during Benge’s preliminary hearing last month, that Laurel Dispatch received a call around 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 15 regarding three bodies found in a home off Tomcat Trail in eastern Laurel County. The caller, Johnny Ray Benge - son of the couple and Benge’s brother, discovered their bodies that afternoon.

"He thought there were three bodies because a grandchild lives with them, but there were only two," Detective McDaniel explained in court. "The grandchild had gone to the mother's and wasn't home. Johnny is a pharmacy tech and was out that way delivering medicines and he just stopped by while in the area to check on them."

According to law enforcement, after killing his parents, Joseph Benge left in a white Ford Taurus that belonged to his mother. Joseph is also accused of taking money that belonged to the Benge's church that they kept in their home, as well as some firearms.

McDaniel said the younger Johnny Benge provided the phone number for his brother and that tracing of the phone number led police to Joseph Benge's location in Mayfield, Ky.

Joseph Benge was taken into custody by Kentucky State Police in Mayfield later that night.

He is currently housed in the Laurel County Correctional Center on a $500,000 cash bond.

Others indicted by the Laurel County grand jury and their charges include:

- Jerry Wayne Robinson II, 45, of London: Seven counts of rape in the third degree, seven counts of sodomy in the third degree, and six counts of use of a minor in a sexual performance.

The indictment states that between March and August of this year, Robinson engaged in deviate sexual intercourse and induced a minor aged 14.

- Layton Brent Justice, 58, of East Bernstadt: Strangulation in the first degree, assault in the second degree, unlawful imprisonment in the first degree, terroristic threatening in the third degree.

- Destiny Dawn McQueen, 22, of London: Two counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree, endangering the welfare of a minor, public intoxication, disorderly conduct in the second degree.

- Robert Jameson Fugate, 36, address unknown: Failure to comply with a sex offender registration second offense, persistent felony offender in the first degree.

- Rachel Jones, 60, of East Bernstadt: Possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine).

- Michale Mullins, 25, of Manchester: Fleeing or evading the police in the first degree, five counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree, resisting arrest.

- Joey Jayson Taylor, 58, of East Bernstadt: Possession of a controlled handgun by a convicted felon, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, operating a motor vehicle while under the influent of intoxicants first offense.

- Eric Scott Miller, 39, address unknown: Theft by unlawful taking of the value of $500 or more but less than $10,000, persistent felony offender in the second degree.

- Mack Elbert Jones, 39, of Williamsburg: Trafficking a controlled substance (methamphetamine) in first degree first offense, possession of a controlled substance (Suboxone) in the second degree, possession of marijuana, driving a motor vehicle while license is revoked or suspended, failure to wear a seatbelt, rear license plat not laminated, persistent felony offender in the second degree, possession of a handgun by a convicted felon.

- Tommy Ray Russell, 48, of Mt. Vernon: Theft by unlawful taking of the value of $500 or more but less than $10,000, criminal trespassing in the second degree, persistent felony offender in the first degree.

- Delmer Lee Watson, 42, of Corbin: Trafficking in a controlled substance (methamphetamine) in the first degree first offense, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants fourth offense, possession of drug paraphernalia, reckless driving, operating a motor vehicle with no registration plate, failure to wear a seatbelt, persistent felony offender in the first degree.

- Robert Laws III, 41, of London: Burglary in the second degree, public intoxication, menacing, resisting arrest.

- Roger Dale Sevier, 52, of Corbin: Trafficking a controlled substance (methamphetamine) in the first degree first offense, fleeing or evading police in the second degree, giving a police officer a false name or address, possession of marijuana, possessing of a controlled substance (clonazepam) in the third degree, possession of drug paraphernalia, persistent felony offender in the first degree.

- Cody Michael Blair, 32, of London: Possession of controlled substance (methadone) in the first degree, possession of a controlled substance in an improper container, possession of drug paraphernalia.

- Ray Ogle Baker, 38, of London: Trafficking in a controlled substance (methamphetamine) in the first degree first offense, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, two counts of persistent felony offender in the first degree.

- Tiffany Paige Jackson-Whitehead, 42, of Corbin: Trafficking in a controlled substance (morphine) in the first degree first offense, possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) in the first degree, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, persistent felony offender in the first degree.

- William Dustin Barrett, 27, of Manchester: Trafficking in a controlled substance (methamphetamine) in the first degree first offense.

- Larry Christopher Helton, 42, of Corbin: Trafficking in a controlled substance (methamphetamine) in the first degree second offense.

- Joshua Alan Wombles, 24, of Corbin: Trafficking in a controlled substance (methamphetamine) first degree first offense, possession of marijuana, possession of a drug paraphernalia, persistent felony offender in the second degree.

- Larry R. Proffitt: 29, of London: Possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) in the first degree.

- Susan Kay Brewer, 40, of Woolum: Trafficking in a controlled substance (methamphetamine) in the first degree first offense.

- Raymond Brian Skinner, 41, of Gray: Trafficking in a controlled substance (methamphetamine) in the first degree second offense.

- Tabitha Jo Hawk (AKA Tabitha Jo Collier), 40, of London: Trafficking in a controlled substance (methamphetamine) in the first degree first offense.

- Anthony Lane Griffin, 38, of East Bernstadt: Seven counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree.

- Bobby Joe Elza, 52, of London: Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicants fourth offense, driving a motor vehicle while license is revoked or suspended for driving under the influence first offense.

- Nathan Tyler Davidson, 28, of London: Assault in the second degree, fleeing or evading police in the second degree, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct in the second degree.

- Brittany Kenielle Yaden (AKA Brittany Kenielle Osborne, 32, address unknown: Theft by unlawful taking the value of $500 or more but less than $10,000.

- Matthew David McQueen, 35, of London: Possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) in the first degree, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana.

- John Henry Goldsberry, 46, of London: Theft of a motor vehicle registration plate, persistent felony offender in the first degree.

- Preston Kyle Estep (AKA Preston Napier), 24, of Corbin: Possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) in the first degree, tampering with physical evidence, pubic intoxication.

- Gillis Ricky Yocum Jr., 47, of London: Theft by unlawful taking of the value of $10,000 or more.

- Robert Dwayne Kazee, 41, of London: Possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) in the first degree.

- Brian David Roaden, 40, of East Bernstadt: Receiving a stolen firearm, possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, persistent felony offender in the second degree.

- Charles David Dozier, 44, of Harlan: Trafficking in a controlled substance (methamphetamine) in the first degree first offense, trafficking in marijuana less than eight ounces first offense, persistent felony offender in the first degree.

- Timmy Clontz, 38, of East Bernstadt: Flagrant non support.

- Mark A. Lanham, 31, of London: Flagrant non support.

- Tony Harvey Tankersley, 50, of Manchester: Flagrant non support.

An indictment is a formal charge by a grand jury; it is not a conviction or an admission of guilt.

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