Commonwealth Journal

News Live

October 26, 2013

Affidavit: Shell casings from Keith’s pawn shop match

Somerset — New evidence has been uncovered in the case of a Burnside pastor accused of fatally shooting three people at a Danville pawn shop.

An affidavit signed on October 22 by Danville Police Det. Kevin Peel states that investigators recovered two shell casings from the Somerset business of suspect Kenneth Allen Keith, 48, that match those found at the scene of the September 20 shootings of Michael and Angela Hockensmith, owners of ABC Gold, Games, and More, and another man, Daniel Smith.

Keith, a Burnside pastor, pleaded not guilty to the three counts of murder and one count of first-degree robbery last week. On Monday, an indictment was return by a Boyle County grand jury accusing Keith of the murders and robbery and burglary counts.

According to the affidavit, the two .22 caliber casings found during the execution of a search warrant at Keith’s store, Gold Rush Gold Buyer’s Paradise in Somerset, were compared to the .22 shell casings recovered during the search of the Hockensmiths’ store the day of the shootings.

“Tests were conducted on these shell casings by the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) lab and one of them was found to have been fired from the same weapon that fired some of the .22 caliber casings recovered from ABC Gold, Games and More on the day of the murders,” reads the document.

“Additionally, four Fifth Third Bank money bands and a receipt belonging to Dan Smith dated September 19, 2013 were recovered during the execution of the search warrant at the Gold Rush Gold Buyer’s Business,” continues the affidavit.

The money bands, dated to September 17, 2013, were used to band together currency in stacks totaling $10,000 each, according to the document; investigators had previously learned that Smith had ordered $40,000 from Fifth Third Bank on September 17, and that he had picked it up on September 19.

“Evidence recovered during the execution of the aforementioned search warrants, including that listed above, implicated Kenneth Keith as being the one who committed the robbery and murders of Michael Hockensmith, Angela Hockensmith, and Daniel Smith,” reads the affidavit. “Certain items are being tested in forensic labs operated by the Kentucky State Police and the ATF for the presence of fingerprints.”

Another affidavit signed October 16 by Peel said that four cellular telephones were recovered during the execution of search warrants. An Apple iPhone was seized from Keith when he was arrested earlier this month. During the follow-up investigation, it was discovered that Keith used this phone to send and receive messages and calls to a cooperating individual who provided investigators with the details of these conversations, according to the affidavit.

During these communications, Keith allegedly made statements impacting himself in the robbery and murders of the Hockensmiths and Daniel Smith

The affidavit also says that it’s “more likely than not” that Keith used a .22 caliber Ruger pistol with a silencer/suppresser affix to it in the shootings, and that investigators discovered a receipt from Cummins Sporting Goods in Mt. Vernon, Ky., dated January 11, 2013 for an indicated purchase of a Ruger MK III .22 caliber pistol.

The other iPhone was taken from Keith’s wife Tracey when she was discovered at the parsonage during the execution of the search warrant there, said the affidavit, while the other two phones, a Samsung and a Motorola, are of “unknown origin,” according to the document, and that the were recovered from the parsonage and a Dodge Caravan belonging to Keith, respectively.

“During the follow-up investigation, a witness described seeing a man in the parking lot of ABC Gold Games & More at approximately (6:45 p.m.),” reads the affidavit. “The witness stated that the man was talking on a cell phone and that he appeared to be arguing with the person on the other end of the call. He also matched the description given by the child when he first called 911.”

Danville Police said following Keith’s arrest that the Hockensmiths’ two children were in the store when the shootings happened, and the 9-year-old reportedly called 911 after the incident occurred.

Keith was arrested on Wednesday Oct. 9 at Gold Rush Gold Buyers.

Other affidavits filed in Boyle County Circuit Court recently called for fingerprints and a DNA swab sample to be taken from Keith for examination.

Keith’s attorney, Somerset-based Mark Stanziano, told the Commonwealth Journal earlier in the week that his client was not present at the Hockensmith’s store at the time of the shootings and that this is a “circumstantial evidence case.”

Text Only
News Live
  • eubank school1.jt.jpg New cafeteria coming soon to Eubank Elementary

    Students at one elementary school in northern Pulaski County will be taking their lunches in the classroom for a bit while construction to its cafeteria continues. 

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rift over firefighter pay finally history

    Somerset officials are closing the books on a years-long disagreement between the city and the state labor cabinet over overtime pay and other benefits for firefighters and EMS workers. 

    July 31, 2014

  • BURNSIDE LODGE-TURNER FOTO.jpg Turner to meet with commissioner on Burnside Island

    A state representative unhappy over secrecy surrounding possible privatization of General Burnside Island State Park said he will respond positively to an invitation to meet with Elaine Walker, commissioner of Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Ca

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Derek Kissee.jpg Science Hill man charged in Rockcastle County beating

    A Science Hill man has been accused of beating and leaving another Pulaski County man for dead in an abandoned Rockcastle County rock qu

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Kingsford Fire 07-29-2014 KS 09.jpg No injuries, minimal damage at Kingsford Plant

    A normal production day at the Kingsford Charcoal Plant in southern Pulaski County was halted for a few hours while firefighters worked to put out a small blaze at the plant. 

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 020313 SCC Rogers BLdg-0286.jpg SCC tabbed as one of top places to work

    A national publication dedicated to all things secondary education has named Somerset Community College one of the best in the nation to work for. 

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Warning: Robo phone scam targeting local residents

    Authorities are warning local residents of a possible phone scam.

    July 28, 2014

  • Baskin Robbins Reopens 07-29-2014 JT 17.jpg Baskin Robbins is back in Somerset

    Even with two Dairy Queens, a new Orange Leaf and an ice cream truck, Somerset residents have still been screaming for more ice cream.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • DOWNTOWN SIDEWALK FOTO.JPG Heated sidewalks provide sparks for workers
    A heated sidewalk to melt snow and ice was “quite the thing” a half century ago in a small town like Somerset. This town’s first and only electrically warmed sidewalk was installed facing Fountain Square alongside First and Farmers National Bank when the bank’s downtown headquarters building was constructed in 1963-64.
    As snow fell, the warm sidewalk melted a walkway about 2 feet wide alongside the bank. It was the talk of the town; quite a gimmick.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 021614 Citizens 11 Boyd randolph.jpg Somerset Schools will fight ruling

    The recent hearing regarding the conflict with county schools over non-resident students might not have gone Somerset’s way, but that doesn’t mean they’re done fighting.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

News Live
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide