Bass Webb sentenced to 50 years for running down Bourbon officers

jkegley@herald-leader.comJuly 28, 2011 

PARIS — Bass Webb was sentenced Wednesday to 50 years in prison for trying to run over a pretrial officer and a deputy sheriff outside the Bourbon County jail in 2009.

In May, a jury found Webb guilty of two counts of attempted murder for trying to run down pretrial officer Josh Mason and Deputy Sheriff Ryan Barkley in a Geo Tracker. The officers were standing outside the jail's secure garage, where police unload prisoners, when the Tracker barrelled into the parking lot and crashed into the building,

Mason leaped out of the way, but Barkley's leg was pinned between the vehicle and a jail wall.

The jury recommended an enhanced sentence of 25 years on each count because Webb is a persistent felony offender. They asked that Webb serve the sentences consecutively.

Webb's attorney, public defender Craig Newbern, asked that the judge allow the sentences to run concurrently, or to reduce the sentence for the charge involving Mason because he was not injured.

"We had a jury hear the entire case, and they were presented with various options in determining the charges," Special Judge Jean Logue said. "I am going to follow their recommendations."

After the hearing, Commonwealth's Attorney Gordie Shaw said his office was satisfied with the outcome. Newbern said he respected the jurors' and judge's opinions, but "with the facts of the case, we think this verdict was excessive."

Webb will be eligible for parole after serving 10 years. However, he is serving time in other jurisdictions for other crimes.

Webb is awaiting two murder trials; one in Harrison County and one in Montgomery County. Police have said Webb killed two ex-girlfriends.

After Webb was arrested for crashing into the jail, he apparently admitted to police that he had killed his ex-girlfriend in Cynthiana. State police then found the body of Bryia Runiewicz, 32, in a home on New Lair Road.

Webb also is accused of killing Sabrina Marie Vaughn in Montgomery County. Vaughn's remains were found on a rural road in Powell County after she had been missing for about seven years.

A contempt of court charge is pending in Bourbon County after Webb spit on District Judge Vanessa Dickson during his arraignment on the attempted murder charge. Logue, a Madison Circuit Court judge, was appointed as a special judge after that incident.

Runiewicz's mother, Dora Clair, who was at Wednesday's sentencing, said she would be in court for all of Webb's hearings, even those not related to her daughter's slaying, "to witness him getting his justice."

She said that she didn't think 50 years behind bars was enough but that she was glad he got the maximum sentence.

"It's giving me hope that he's finally going to get what he deserves," she said.

Webb's trial in Runiewicz's slaying in Harrison County is scheduled for the entire month of December. The trial in Vaughn's death is tentatively scheduled April 9 to 26.

Webb will return to court in Harrison County for an Aug. 22 status hearing.

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