Crime

Man pleads guilty in delivery driver’s slaying that shook Muslim community

Fayette County sheriff’s deputy John Jackson held the door as Trey Relford entered a Fayette Circuit Court Thursday. Relford pleaded guilty in the 2015 stabbing death of pizza delivery driver Salahuddin Jitmoud.
Fayette County sheriff’s deputy John Jackson held the door as Trey Relford entered a Fayette Circuit Court Thursday. Relford pleaded guilty in the 2015 stabbing death of pizza delivery driver Salahuddin Jitmoud. gkocher1@herald-leader.com

Trey Alexander Relford, the man accused of murder in the 2015 stabbing death of a Pizza Hut delivery driver, entered a guilty plea Thursday.

The plea came days before Relford was scheduled to go on trial on murder and robbery charges in the killing of Salahuddin Jitmoud, 22, of Lexington. Jitmoud was found dead in the breezeway of the Walnut Hills apartment complex in April 2015.

Jitmoud’s death shook Lexington’s Muslim community. Some feared that the slaying was a hate crime, but police said there was no evidence to suggest that.

Prosecutors recommended that Relford, 24, receive 25 years in prison for complicity to murder, 10 years for complicity to robbery, and 12 months on an amended charge of attempted evidence tampering.

The guilty plea was conditional, meaning Relford didn’t give up review by higher courts of several pretrial rulings that dealt with the admissibility of certain evidence.

Had Relford been convicted at trial, he could have faced the death penalty.

Fayette Circuit Judge Kimberly Bunnell scheduled sentencing for Nov. 7.

Had Relford not entered a plea, jury selection would have started Monday. Picking jurors was expected to take at least three days, and the trial was expected to take at least three weeks.

Early in the investigation, police had arrested two other men, Antonio Lewis and Cameron Rashawn McClellan, in connection with Jitmoud’s death.

But a Fayette County grand jury dismissed the charges against them. Grand jury proceedings are secret, so the exact reason for the dismissal of charges isn’t known.

Greg Kocher: 859-231-3305, @HLpublicsafety

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