Lexington police make arrest in 2017 shooting death of woman left on Tates Creek Road

Lawrence Westbrook
Lawrence Westbrook

Lexington police said Saturday that they’ve arrested a man in the Dec. 26, 2017, shooting death of a mother of three whose body was found with multiple gunshot wounds on Tates Creek Road near the Jessamine County line.

Lawrence Westbrook III, 40, was charged with murder after a lengthy investigation into the killing of 39-year-old Rachel Jean Preston, police said in a prepared statement. Westbrook, a Lexington man, was being held in the Fayette County Detention Center, police said. But they released no further information about the shooting.

Court records show that Westbrook has a criminal history involving guns. Past convictions in Fayette Circuit Court include being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed deadly weapon, marijuana possession and drunken driving.

A domestic violence charge involving injury to his wife in February was reduced to misdemeanor harassment when he pleaded guilty July 10 in exchange for a $250 fine. But in the interim, Westbrook’s wife filed for divorce and obtained a protective order against him.

Apart from the murder charge, Westbrook also faces pending charges of methamphetamine and marijuana possession, drug trafficking, being a persistent felony offender, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and carrying a concealed weapon.

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.