Lexington home-invasion victim dies in shooting; 4 people facing charges

vhoneycutt@herald-leader.comAugust 21, 2012 

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    Anyone with more information about this shooting is asked to contact Lexington police at (859) 258-3600.

One man was killed and three people were charged in a violent robbery and shootout Monday night at Creekside South Apartments complex on Devonport Drive.

The Fayette County coroner's office had not identified the victim, a 26-year-old man, by Tuesday night pending notification of his family. He died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Two of the suspects — Alexander Wallace Burdette, 25, and an unidentified 16-year-old juvenile — have been charged with murder and first-degree robbery, Lexington police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said. A third suspect, Rodneisha L. Murphy, 20, was charged with first-degree robbery.

Charges of murder and first-degree robbery are pending against a fourth suspect, a 17-year-old juvenile who was shot and taken to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, Roberts said. She described the juvenile as seriously injured.

Witnesses have said they heard several shots at 10:43 p.m. Monday at the apartment complex in the 2000 block of Devonport, off Alexandria Drive.

When officers arrived, they located three people with gunshot wounds to various parts of their bodies, according to a news release. The three were in two separate apartments. Roberts said that Burdette, the teen and the 26-year-old man had been shot.

All three were taken to the UK hospital.

Police officers were still at the apartment complex late Tuesday afternoon. Several neighbors said they knew what happened but declined to comment.

Terry Fowler of Lexington said he was told the victim saved Fowler's stepdaughter and 11-year-old step-granddaughter, who opened the door.

Fowler declined to identify the victim, who he said reportedly told his stepdaughter and step-granddaughter to hide before he shot the intruders.

View Shooting at Lexington apartment complex in a larger map

"It was a heroic thing he did," Fowler said of the victim's efforts.

Fowler also said he did not want to identify his stepdaughter and step-granddaughter.

The suspects went to one of the apartments "to rob the occupant," the news release said. Gunfire was exchanged when they got inside.

Investigators said all of the suspects were detained shortly after the shooting.

Murphy confessed to planning and directing her co-defendants in committing the armed robbery, according to Fayette District Court records.

Murphy lived in a Devonport Drive apartment and was a stranger to the victim, according to the court records.

Murphy was being held at the Fayette Detention Center on a $10,000 bond, spokeswoman Jennifer Taylor said. During a video appearance in Fayette District Court Tuesday afternoon, Murphy asked that she be allowed to post 10 percent of her bond and be released. Judge Megan Lake Thornton said no.

Thornton assigned Murphy's case to the public defender's office. A court date was scheduled for Aug. 27.

Burdette is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

Two misdemeanor cases against Murphy are pending in Fayette District Court from separate incidents in May involving a noise ordinance violation and a charge of possessing drug paraphernalia. Murphy has pleaded not guilty to the charges in that case.

According to information filed with the court, police entered Murphy's Devonport Drive apartment in May and found a pipe, baggies and other drug items. Officers said they also found a .45-caliber handgun.

Murphy denied any knowledge of the gun, according to the court filing.

Burdette pleaded guilty in Fayette Circuit Court in 2008 to first-degree possession of cocaine and was sentenced to one year, court records say.

Valarie Honeycutt Spears: (859) 231-3409.Twitter: @hlpublicsafety

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