The man charged with murder in the shooting death of Vondre R. Smithers last month made his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon.
Fayette District Judge Julie Muth Goodman ordered a not guilty plea entered in Dustin James Yost's behalf during Yost's arraignment and referred the case to the public defender's office.
Yost appeared via video from the Fayette County jail, where he is being held. He is due back in court for a preliminary hearing April 22.
Yost, 21, of Winchester, was charged Tuesday with murder. He also faces a charge of tampering with evidence in connection with the shooting.
Smithers, 21, was found lying next to the sidewalk in the 3300 block of Bellefonte Drive about 7 a.m. March 17. He was taken to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, where he died of a single gunshot wound to the head. The ambulance crew initially thought he had been struck by a car.
Documents filed in court indicate that Smithers was dumped on Bellefonte Drive after being shot somewhere else.
Yost originally was arrested April 1 in Bourbon County on the tampering charge and pleaded not guilty the following day. Police added the murder charge Tuesday.
According to a warrant, investigators determined that Smithers had been shot in a car that Yost owned. Yost acknowledged being in the car when the shooting occurred, but he maintained that someone else did the killing.
Yost stopped at least once to clean his vehicle of "biological evidence" left from the shooting, and he admitted throwing away the clothing he was wearing, according to court documents. Also, he admitted driving to a rural area outside Fayette County to discard the handgun that was used to kill Smithers.
The tampering charge stems from those alleged acts.
Court documents don't specify where the shooting occurred, but they say it happened at a gas station in Fayette County.
The papers that have been filed in court also don't mention a motive for the killing.