Commonwealth Journal

Local News

February 11, 2013

Details emerging in alleged murder plot

Somerset —  

More details are emerging in the case of an alleged murder-for-hire plot that unfolded in McCreary County this weekend but has roots here in Pulaski.
Timothy Prater, 30, of Somerset, was arrested Friday and charged with criminal conspiracy to commit murder, impersonating a peace officer, first-degree robbery, and unlawful imprisonment.
A published report this weekend said that the suspect was paid $1,500 to murder a Pine Knot woman, and was arrested after a report of an assault on the victim on Richard Stephens Road in McCreary County. 
KSP reported that the victim was walking from her home to her vehicle when three men dressed in dark clothing attacked her. Neighbors of the victim went to check on her, and the three alleged attackers identified themselves as FBI agents, but refused to show any identification.
According to the McCreary County Record, the victim — Debbie Taylor was at home alone after her husband Larry had gone away as part of his trucking job. Officers learned that the victim has been accosted on the way to her car to go to work, handcuffed and stunned with a taser device.
Prater told police that he was paid to kill Taylor by Regina Stephens of Pine Knot — both employees of Guthrie’s River House in Burnside, according to the Record, where Prater was a bartender and Stephens a waitress.
Angelique Guthrie, owner of the restaurant, told the Commonwealth Journal this past weekend that Prater is no longer employed there.
Stephens was found to have likely killed herself Friday night after an arrest warrant had been obtained for her also, on conspiracy to commit murder charges. McCreary County Sheriff Gus Skinner informed the Record that Stephens’ car was found in her garage, but that authorities had to make entry into her home, where they found her dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

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