Police: Teen charged in Berea double shooting because he didn't intervene

police say 18-year-old did nothing to stop monday's fatal shooting

gkocher1@herald-leader.comNovember 23, 2011 

BEREA — An 18-year-old Berea resident has been charged with complicity to murder and attempted murder because he allegedly didn't do anything to stop a man from shooting two others Monday morning after a fight, police said Tuesday.

Randall J. Burgess Jr. was charged Monday night in connection with the killing of Zackary Flower, 25, and the wounding of Kevin Price in an apartment building at 301 Chestnut Street. Burgess also was charged with first-degree burglary.

Matt Denholm, 27, had been charged earlier Monday with murder in the double shooting along with assault and burglary. Police said roommates Flower and Price intervened Sunday night to help an unidentified man with whom Denholm was fighting in the apartment's parking lot. Denholm subsequently lost the fight but vowed to return. He broke through a door to get into the apartment Monday morning.

Berea Capt. Ken Clark said Burgess witnessed the Sunday fight that led to the shooting. He also heard Denholm say he would return, Clark added.

"He (Burgess) knew about it and didn't do anything about it," Clark said.

Burgess also allowed Denholm's brother, Ryan, to drive Burgess's vehicle and take Matt Denholm back to Flower and Price's apartment for the Monday shooting, Clark said.

More charges are expected to be filed in the shooting, Clark said.

Matt Denholm was apprehended Monday afternoon in Jeffersontown along with his brother, Ryan, and Berea resident Sherry Bratten.

Ryan Denholm and Bratten were charged in Jefferson County with hindering prosecution/apprehension and complicity to tampering with physical evidence.

Matt Denholm was charged in Jefferson County with fleeing or evading police, three counts of wanton endangerment of a police officer and tampering with physical evidence. Matt Denholm initially refused to leave the car in which officers spotted and stopped him Monday.

Police brought the car back to a secured storage facility in Berea on Tuesday and have obtained a warrant to search it, Clark said. That search will happen Wednesday morning, he said.

After he was charged, Burgess was taken to the Madison County jail.

Flower's autopsy was performed in Frankfort on Tuesday but results haven't yet been received, Clark said late Tuesday afternoon.

Matt Denholm, Ryan Denholm and Bratten probably won't be brought from Jefferson County to the Madison County Detention Center in Richmond until later this week, Clark said. A preliminary hearing will likely be held next week; at that hearing, a district court judge will hear evidence to determine whether there is probable cause to send the case to a grand jury for possible indictment.

Like Matt Denholm, Flower was a veteran. He served as a forward observer in Iraq around 2007-08. He was from Lynchburg, Va.

Sarah Denholm, Matt Denholm's second wife, was awarded emergency custody of Denholm's young daughter from a previous marriage on Tuesday, according to Sarah Denholm's father, Steve Reynolds. Sarah also has a 1-year-old son with Matt Denholm.

In a motion for a domestic violence protection order in May, Sarah Denholm asked that Matt Denholm complete "drug/alcohol treatment through the VA (Veterans Affairs) as well as PTSD treatment." That is a reference to post-traumatic stress disorder, a type of anxiety disorder that often affects those who return from war or disastrous events.

Tuesday, at the scene of the shooting, a maintenance worker for the building put a piece of plywood over the door because the doorjamb was damaged in the incident. Some people wrote messages to the roommates who were in a rap group called Strange Tang. "Miss you Flower RIP," read one. "I love you; I miss you."

Flower's death also hit hard those who knew him at the Headquarters Battery of 2/138th Field Artillery at the National Guard Armory in Lexington, said Staff Sgt. James Parsons.

"He was a great dude. Very mellow. Passionate about his music. Enjoyed the camaraderie with his troops," Parsons said. "Hard worker. Dedicated."

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