Pulaski County man charged with trying to bury robbery victim alive in Rockcastle County

jwarren@herald-leader.comJuly 29, 2014 

The Rockcastle County Sheriff's Department has arrested a man who is accused of robbing a man and then trying to bury him alive.

Jason Dewayne Gambrel, 30, of Science Hill is being held in the Rockcastle County jail on charges of attempted murder and first-degree robbery.

Deputies arrested Gambrel after Derek Kissee, 23, also of Pulaski County, was found in mid-July, badly beaten and buried under rocks in a tunnel at an old rock quarry in a remote part of Rockcastle County.

"We're assuming that the victim was unconscious and that the suspect thought he was dead, covered him up and left him," Sheriff Mike Peters said.

Passersby found Kissee after hearing him groaning, Peters said.

The attack occurred at an out-operation quarry several miles off the main road in southeastern Rockcastle County, the sheriff said.

Area residents frequently go to the quarry for target practice, and two men had gone there to collect old shell casings as scrap metal when they found Kissee, he said.

The sheriff said Kissee was found in an old tunnel that had been dug into the side of the quarry when it was in operation. Kissee was flown to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital and is recovering, Peters said.

He said Kissee and Gambrel apparently were former co-workers.

He said it was unclear why they had come to Rockcastle County, because both are from Pulaski.

An investigation is continuing, he said.

"The sad fact is that this is the second case kind of like this we've had in the last two years," Peters said. "We're a small county, and we normally don't have things like this happen."

Jim Warren: (859) 231-3255.

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