Commonwealth Journal

January 17, 2013

Stabbed dad fends off alleged attacker in son’s plot to kill parents

Defense succeeds despite knife wounds

by Heather Tomlinson
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset —  

Two young men were arrested early Wednesday morning after police say they hatched a plot to kill one of the suspect’s parents. 
The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department responded to a report of a stabbing at a home on Spring Valley Drive, located southwest of Somerset, at around 3 a.m. Wednesday. 
Once there, investigators found the homeowner, Edwin D. Phelps, 43, in his bedroom and suffering from a number of serious knife wounds. 
Phelps was treated there by Somerset-Pulaski County EMS and taken to Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital. From there, he was taken to the University of Kentucky Medical Center for further treatment.
Lt. Det. Brett Whitaker, with the sheriff’s department, said through a press release that investigators “uncovered a plot by the victim’s 17-year-old son and an 18-year-old friend to murder the child’s parents.
“Investigators found that the juvenile had asked his 18-year-old friend to kill his parents and allowed him entry into the home earlier in the evening,” Whitaker added in the press release.
Whitaker said the parents — Edwin Phelps and his wife, Laura E. Phelps, 44, — were already in bed and didn’t know their son had let the other suspect into the home.  
The 18-year-old, identified as Paul Scott Young, of Springview Drive, Somerset, allegedly went into Phelps’ bedroom and attacked him “in an attempt to carry out the murder plot,” according to Whitaker. 
Whitaker said Phelps was able to subdue Young — who is listed as 6 feet, 3 inches and 115 pounds on the Pulaski Detention Center’s website — and hold him until help arrived despite suffering from serious knife wounds. 
Laura Phelps was uninjured in the incident thanks to the quick action of her husband. 
“(Edwin Phelps’) actions in overpowering and subduing (Young) stopped the attack and prevented (Young) from carrying out the murder plot and prevented further injury to himself and his wife,” said Whitaker. 
Whitaker said he didn’t know all of the details of Edwin Phelps’ injuries, but he said he suffered “ ... several stab and cut wounds about the head and neck area.”
Edwin Phelps was listed in fair condition at the UK Medical Center as of Wednesday afternoon, according to a spokesperson there. 
Young was arrested Wednesday morning and charged with two counts of attempted murder and he was lodged in the detention center on a $250,000 cash bond. 
He is expected to appear in court tomorrow, (Friday). 
Edwin and Laura Phelps’ 17-year-old son was arrested as well and charged with two counts of criminal solicitation to murder.
A motive for the crime is not known, and the investigation is continuing.
"We don't yet have a clear picture of the motive behind this attack but it is clear that the two suspects (Young and Edwin and Laura Phelps’ son) conspired together in this plot,” Whitaker said.