Commonwealth Journal

January 18, 2013

Teen pleads not guilty to murder plot

By HEATHER TOMLINSON, CJ Staff Writer
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset —  

A Pulaski County teen-ager, who allegedly took part in a plot to kill a friend’s parents, appeared in court this week.
Paul Scott Young, 18, of Springview Drive, Somerset, appeared in Pulaski District Court Friday and pleaded not guilty to two charges of attempted murder, according to Pulaski County Attorney Martin Hatfield. 
Young was arrested early Wednesday morning after police say he stabbed a 17-year-old friend’s father several times in the father’s bedroom. 
Edwin D. Phelps, 43, suffered from several knife wounds to the neck and face area and he was taken to Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital for treatment, and from there he was transported to the University of Kentucky Medical Center. 
Lt. Det. Brett Whitaker, with the Pulaski County 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 (Young) to murder the child’s parents (Edwin Phelps and his wife, Laura E. Phelps, 44).
“Investigators found that the juvenile had asked his 18-year-old friend (Young) to kill his parents and allowed him entry into the home earlier in the evening,” Whitaker added in the press release.
Whitaker said Edwin Phelps and Laura Phelps were already in bed and didn’t know their son had let the other suspect into the home.  
Young allegedly went into Phelps’ bedroom and attacked Edwin Phelps “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. 
911 recordings of the incident revealed that Edwin Phelps was able to get Young into a headlock until authorities arrived. 
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 Edwin Phelps has been released from the hospital and he’s recovering from his injuries at home. 
Edwin and Laura Phelps’ 17-year-old son was arrested as well and charged with two counts of criminal solicitation to murder. He’s being held in the Adair County Juvenile Detention Center. 
Whitaker said the couple’s son “ ... originally started out acting innocent and was helping his dad hold Young down until deputies arrived. 
“However, after my detectives started looking into it and interviewing the suspects, it became apparent there was a deeper sinister story there,” Whitaker added. 
A motive for the crime is not known, and the investigation is continuing.
During Friday’s hearing, Young’s attorney asked that his bond be lowered. Hatfield said they objected to that request “based on the danger to the community” that Young could pose. 
Pulaski District Judge Scott Lawless declined to lower Young’s bond. It remains set at $250,000, and he’s lodged in the Pulaski County Detention Center. 
Hatfield said he cannot discuss the details of the 17-year-old’s case because he’s a juvenile. Juvenile cases are sealed from the public.
Young’s preliminary hearing is set for January 23, according to Hatfield.