Indictments handed down against Litton, Wesley involving recent fatal Pulaski County crashes
by Heather Tomlinson Commonwealth Journal
Two Pulaski County men were indicted this week on murder charges stemming from recent automobile accidents.
A Pulaski County Grand Jury on Wednesday handed down murder charges for Justin I. Litton, 36, of Somerset, and William Wesley, Jr., 40, of Science Hill. Both men were arrested earlier this year in connection with two separate car accidents that left two people dead.
Litton was arrested on March 18 and charged with murder after police say he intentionally drove into the path of another vehicle, causing the death of Levi Stephens, 33, of Somerset.
Investigators with the Somerset Police Department said the incident began at around 10 p.m. Saturday, March 16 when Pulaski County Sheriff’s Deputy Steve Molen noticed a black 1998 Nissan car parked in the lot of a closed business on Ky. 80 without its headlights on. Molen reportedly 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 center line just west of the intersection of West Ky. 80 and WTLO Road and struck head-on a westbound white 2005 Suzuki driven by Stephens.
SPD Detective Larry Patterson testified during a preliminary hearing in late March that a dashboard camera in Molen’s vehicle shows Stephens’ approaching headlights — and it shows he attempted to avoid the collision. Patterson testified that the dashboard camera also shows Litton entered into the westbound lane and remained there for around five seconds before the crash.
After the accident, 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.
According to testimony given by Patterson, Litton’s family had called Pulaski County 911 and reported that Litton left a home on Limestone Street in Somerset less than an hour before the accident. Litton’s family reported that he’d left intoxicated, and he indicated he would intentionally drive head-on into a tractor trailer in an attempt to take his own life.
Wesley, Jr., was arrested about a month after the Litton accident in connection with an April 15 accident that left Jacob Ebenstein, 19, of Puncheon Lane, Eubank, dead.
According to the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department, Wesley was operating a 1999 Hyundai eastbound on Ky. 635 when he crossed into the path of a 2003 Suzuki motorcycle driven by Ebenstein, which was headed westbound. Ebenstein was ejected from the motorcycle.
Ebenstein was treated for his injuries at the scene by Somerset-Pulaski EMS and flown by Air Methods to the University of Kentucky Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead by the Fayette County Coroner’s Office.
Wesley was arrested at the scene and charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol/drugs/etc., .08, a first offense. He was later charged by sheriff’s deputies on one count of murder. According to the arrest warrant, Wesley smelled strongly of alcohol and told Deputy Charles Boston that he had been fishing and drank four beers within the last two hours.
Wesley Jr. was indicted on Wednesday on one count of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol as well as murder.
According to the indictments, both men remain lodged in the Pulaski County Detention Center on $250,000 bonds.
An indictment is an accusation only. A defendant is considered innocent of all charges until and unless found guilty in a court of law.