Commonwealth Journal

Local News

March 27, 2013

Litton murder case heads to grand jury

Suspect charged with intentionally causing fatal wreck

Somerset —  

A Pulaski County man charged with murder for allegedly intentionally causing a fatal accident will see his case go before the grand jury.
Justin I. Litton, 36, of Somerset, appeared Wednesday before Pulaski District Judge Scott Lawless in a preliminary hearing to determine whether enough evidence exists to warrant a review by a grand jury for possible indictment. 
“I don’t believe the Commonwealth met their burden to prove (Litton) intentionally tried to take the life of (Levi Stephens),” stated Kenton Lanham, who represented Litton, during closing arguments.  
Litton is charged with murder in connection with a March 16 car crash that left Stephens, 33, of Somerset, dead.
Litton was charged with murder Monday, March 18, 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.
Litton, who had to use crutches to get around, had to be helped to his seat Wednesday by court bailiffs. He sat quietly through the hearing Wednesday, speaking only occasionally to Lanham. 
During the hearing, Pulaski County Attorney Martin Hatfield called Somerset Police Department Detective Larry Patterson to the stand, who has been investigating the car crash.
Patterson repeated what SPD has reported so far. The incident began at around 10 p.m. Saturday, March 16 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.
Patterson on Wednesday identified the deputy as Steve Molen. Patterson said Molen shined a spotlight on Litton’s car as he passed, and attempted to turn around to investigate. That’s when Litton apparently left the parking lot and headed eastbound on West Ky. 80.
Molen turned his emergency lights on and was attempting to make a traffic stop when the accident happened. Litton’s vehicle reportedly crossed the centerline just west of the intersection of West Ky. 80 and WTLO Road and struck head-on a westbound white 2005 Suzuki driven by Stephens.

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