Scott County

‘Very young, easily persuaded.’ Kentucky woman wants early release after pregnant girl’s killing.

Ashley Lyons, left, and Dena Williams
Ashley Lyons, left, and Dena Williams Lyons photo courtesy Chris Lyons, Williams photo Kentucky Department of Corrections

A woman serving time for complicity to murder in the death of a pregnant teen is seeking early release from prison.

Dena Williams, 33, has asked a Scott Circuit Court judge to grant probation for the remainder of her 20-year sentence. She pleaded guilty in November 2005 for her role in the death of Ashley Lyons.

Lyons, 18, of Stamping Ground was more than five months pregnant when she was found shot to death in her car in a Scott County Park in 2004.

Roger McBeath Jr., the ex-boyfriend of Lyons, is serving a 42-year sentence for complicity to murder Lyons. McBeath was also sentenced to five years for complicity to evidence tampering.

McBeath and Lyons dated off and on for several years but broke up in 2003 after living together. Lyons’ family said McBeath was the baby’s father, but they said he disputed that.

AshleyLyons.jpg
Ashley Lyons was 18 years old and pregnant when she was killed in 2004. Chris Lyons

Williams is currently incarcerated at the Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women at Pewee Valley. She is eligible for parole in 2021.

A hearing on her request for probation had been scheduled for Monday but was rescheduled for April 1 before Scott Circuit Judge Jeremy Mattox.

In the written motion, Williams says she “was very young and easily persuaded by” her then-boyfriend McBeath. Williams also says she “had no knowledge of the relationship” between McBeath and Lyons.

Furthermore, Williams said she “was not the main offender of the crime and has already served approximately 70 percent of her sentence for her role in the crime.”

Williams notes in the court filing that she has completed various programs in prison, including courses on anger management, resident legal aide training, horticulture-landscaping and how to be a certified Braille transcriber.

Williams acted as her own attorney, but in court papers, she has asked the judge to appoint a lawyer for her and to hold an evidentiary hearing.

The Lyons murder was the subject of a January episode of Investigation Discovery on cable television.

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