Three University of Kentucky students were charged Monday for their roles in a robbery that led to the shooting death of a 28-year-old man near campus, police said.
Jaydon Bryce Whalen, 19, of Hebron and Nicholas Vincent Coriaci, 18, of Crystal Lake, Ill., were charged with first-degree robbery, according to court records.
A robbery warrant was issued Monday for a third student, Alex P. Ferrell, 19. He turned himself in about 6 p.m. Tuesday, police said.
The three — along with James N. Gordon, 28 — arranged to meet a fifth man whom they had planned ahead to rob under the guise of a narcotics buy, police said.
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When the fifth man arrived at the Woodland Avenue meeting spot about 2:15 a.m. Saturday, the three and Gordon showed two weapons and tried to rob him, police said. The man then pulled a gun himself and shot Gordon and Coriaci. Gordon died.
The fifth man has not been publicly identified. Police said he claimed self-defense and helped investigators.
“Once we were able, through the investigation, to identify him, he has been very forthcoming as to what happened,” Lexington police Lt. Brad Ingram said. He was not injured during the alleged robbery.
All of the people involved, including the man who acted in self-defense, could face additional charges, Ingram said.
Whalen, Coriaci and Ferrell are freshmen, UK spokesman Jay Blanton confirmed Tuesday. Coriaci is a student in the Gatton College of Business and Economics, Blanton said. Whalen is in the College of Education. Ferrell is in the College of Arts and Sciences. Coriaci was listed on the dean’s list at UK for the fall semester, according to the school’s website.
In court records, police said Whalen and Coriaci “participated in a planned robbery in which suspects brandished a firearm and demanded money.” Ingram said the students and Gordon had two weapons among them, but Ingram didn’t identify who held the weapons.
Whalen’s citation said he was acquainted with the alleged victim, while Coriaci’s connection was listed as “unknown.”
“We feel that there was a relationship between all of the parties involved here,” Ingram said. “We’ve identified all of the parties involved and we don’t feel that there is any threat or danger to anyone in the public.”
The UK police department is assisting in the investigation, chief Joe Monroe confirmed in a statement Tuesday.
Monroe said if “there are potential violations of the student code of conduct involved, the university will proceed accordingly with a full review.”
In a brief hearing Tuesday, Fayette District Judge Megan Lake Thornton did not reduce the $10,000 cash bond set for Whalen and Coriaci. Coriaci appeared with his arm in a sling. Police said previously that he had been shot in the shoulder.
The two pleaded not guilty. A preliminary hearing is set for April 22.