Scott County

McBeath sentenced to 42 years

GEORGETOWN — A Scott County man was sentenced Tuesday to 42 years in prison for complicity to commit murder in the 2004 death of his pregnant ex-girlfriend.

Roger McBeath Jr., 27, pleaded guilty last month in Scott Circuit Court for his role in the death of Ashley Lyons, 18, of Stamping Ground.

Lyons, who was 5½ months pregnant, was found shot to death in her car in a Scott County park.

She and McBeath had dated off and on for several years but had broken up in summer 2003.

McBeath was sentenced to 42 years for complicity to commit murder and five years for complicity to tampering with physical evidence.

The sentences will run concurrently.

Given the time that McBeath has served in jail, he would be eligible for parole in 16 years, Commonwealth's Attorney Gordie Shaw estimated.

McBeath was convicted of murder in October 2004, but the Kentucky Supreme Court overturned the conviction because a jail informant overstepped his bounds by questioning McBeath in jail about the shooting and because the defense was not allowed to question the informant.

Before final sentencing from Judge Rob Johnson, Lyons' father, mother and brother spoke with anguish about what was taken from them.

"I think about what Ashley would be doing right now," Buford Lyons, her father, said. "I don't know what she was going to do or what she was going to be, but she was everything to me."

Her brother, Chris Lyons, said he didn't think 42 years was enough punishment for McBeath.

"I don't think life in prison will ever be enough," he said. He said McBeath was "someone who has no heart, no soul and no remorse."

But the longest and most anguished monologue came from Ashley's Lyons' mother.

As thunder, lightning and rain raged outside, Carol Lyons poured out all her pain inside the courtroom.

Addressing McBeath directly, Carol Lyons said, "You know me, Roger. Think of all I did for you. ...You promised me you would never do anything to hurt her.

"I want you to know you have shortened my life. I don't enjoy my life anymore."

Then, pointing to her husband and son, she said, "They miss me because I'm not the same person anymore."

Finally, Carol Lyons told McBeath that her daughter "loved you with all her heart and all her soul."

As her monologue wound down, McBeath dabbed at his eyes.

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