A Somerset man who police say intentionally caused a fatal crash ap-peared in court this week to face a murder charge.
Justin I. Litton, 36, appeared in Pulaski District Court Wednesday for an arraignment. Litton is charged with murder in connection with a Saturday night car crash that left Levi Stephens, 33, of Somerset, dead.
Litton was charged Monday as he was released from the University of Kentucky Medical Center for treatment of injuries sustained in the two-vehicle accident, which happened near the intersection of West Ky. 80 and the Ky. 914 southwestern bypass.
According to Lt. Shannon Smith, with the Somerset Police Department, the incident began at around 10 p.m. Saturday when a Pulaski County Sheriff’s deputy noticed a black 1998 Nissan car parked in the lot of a closed business on Ky. 80, without its headlights on.
Before further investigation could be made, the vehicle — driven by Litton — left the parking lot and headed eastbound, according to SPD.
The deputy was attempting to make a traffic stop to investigate the suspicious incident when the accident happened. Litton’s vehicle reportedly crossed the centerline just west of the intersection with WTLO Road and struck head-on a westbound white 2005 Suzuki driven by Stephens.
The impact trapped both drivers in their vehicles, according to SPD, and sent Stephens' vehicle off the road, where it came to rest on the north side of the highway.
Litton was airlifted to the UK Medical Center. Stephens was transported by ambulance to the Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead by the Pulaski County Coroner's Office.
The murder charge was handed down after investigators allegedly discovered that Litton intentionally drove his car into the path of Stephens’ vehicle.
“The collision was an intentional act,” said Smith. “The charge of murder is being filed not by virtue of whether or not intoxication was a suspicion. (Litton) intentionally drove his car into the path of (Stephens). This is not a case where he accidentally drove off the road.”