A transcript of graphic audio recorded during the December robbery and shooting death of a 21-year-old Frankfort man has been released ahead of a Friday bond hearing for five suspects.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Larry Cleveland has filed a memorandum arguing against any bond reductions for the defendants. The memo is accompanied by a transcript of the audio recorded from defendant Brooke Kennedy’s phone while she sat in a car next to Jared Banta’s car, in which he was robbed and shot.
According to the transcript, rain can be heard hitting the roof of 17-year-old Paige Young’s car, and 16 seconds into the phone video and audio recording, the Pizza Hut sign atop Banta’s car can be seen.
Then 23 seconds and a few expletives later from Kennedy and co-defendant Cameron Montgomery, who was also allegedly in the car, Young gets back into her car and, according to the transcript, says, “Oh God.”
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Female voices, which the transcript doesn’t identify, tell Young to “Pull off. Pull off” and “Go. Go.”
“I can’t. Oh, my God, that’s so scary,” Young said. “You don’t even know, I hope you all have to never have to do that in your life.”
According to the transcript, the video shows the clock inside Young’s car reading 10:48 p.m.
“Hurry. Hurry. Pull out quick,” a female said. “Oh God, Jared’s driving off now. Why is Jared driving off? Oh, my God. They just drove … Oh my God. Girl, they just hit the building. Hurry. Go, Paige.”
Arguing against reducing the $500,000 cash bonds for the three women and alleged triggerman Krishaun Mays, 18, and Kendrick “Kiwi” Burton, 21, Cleveland asserts in his memorandum that the defendants were not “strangers to criminal conduct” prior to allegedly arranging to set Banta up on a drug buy and rob him at gunpoint.
Before Mays turned 18, he had a juvenile criminal record, according to the memo, including drug trafficking, harassment and sexual abuse, receiving stolen property and two convictions involving a handgun.
Burton was under a 2015 indictment for complicity to first-degree robbery and carrying a concealed weapon.
Young had a pending 2016 drug trafficking case in juvenile court within 1,000 feet of a school.
Both Kennedy and Montgomery were placed on diversion for felony theft charges in Campbell County. According to the memorandum, they committed the crimes together a month before the Dec. 26 death of Banta.
As reported previously by The State Journal and in Cleveland’s memorandum, the defendants had communicated via text messages throughout the day. According to phone records, Kennedy had texted Montgomery that she was “hitting a lick” with Mays and had planned additional ones on the evening leading up to Banta’s death.
According to an interview of Young by Frankfort police that is summarized in the court document, she and her female co-defendants wanted money to go shopping and had conspired with Mays and Burton to commit the robbery for a share of the spoils.
Young admits in the interview she contacted Banta under the guise of a marijuana deal in which Mays and Burton would “approach Banta’s vehicle and commit the robbery,” according to the memorandum.
Kennedy states in her interview it was Mays and Burton who asked the female defendants to lure Banta to Country Hills Apartments because it lacked security cameras.
According to the phone records and the memorandum, all three women had plans prior to the alleged setup to go shopping in Lexington and had several late-night texts in Lexington after Banta’s death.
Kennedy’s phone records show the video started recording at 10:47 p.m.
According to the transcript, two minutes later Young gives details of what happened inside Banta’s car.
“They’re gonna know. We’re gonna be in so much trouble,” Young said. “Krishaun cranked the thing, put it to his head like he was about to shoot him. And he … slung it against his head …that’s when I got out. I was like, ‘I’m sorry.’”
All of the defendants “lied until confronted with their cell phone records,” the memorandum says. “And then attempted to minimize their involvement.”
The State Journal contacted all of the defense attorneys, but Londa Adkins, defending Mays, was the only one who responded or would go on the record.
“Following the statutes regarding bond, it’s a challenge in Franklin County,” Adkins said of the effort to have her client’s bond reduced. “We’ve had to challenge it on a lot of levels. It’s just going to be an uphill battle. It’s a challenge complying statutes with bond. It’s particularly difficult in Franklin County.”
Adkins doesn’t think Mays should be tried as an adult given that he was 17 at the time of Banta’s death.
“These are allegations. There were violations of confidentiality in the juvenile court. I think you have some intoxicated players — the females,” Adkins said. “You hear Ms. Young slurring her speech not knowing where she was. Questioning police practices, questioning people under the influence and that sort of thing? That’s what we are dealing with right now.”
Adkins said the bond hearing will be a challenge and she doesn’t expect anything different because “we’re trying this case on Facebook and in the paper and that’s what people want. It’s reminiscent of lynch mobs.”
Burton, Kennedy, Montgomery and Young were indicted on charges of first-degree robbery and complicity to murder. Mays was indicted on charges of murder and first-degree robbery.