Woman who led police on chase in bucket truck is indicted on murder, other charges

Vanessa Napier
Vanessa Napier

Vanessa Napier, who led police on a chase in a bucket truck and was later tied to the discovery of a man's body in rural Fayette County, has been indicted by a grand jury on numerous charges, including murder.

Napier, 32, also is charged with theft, tampering with evidence, first-degree wanton endangerment, first-degree criminal mischief, first-degree fleeing or evading police, second-degree wanton endangerment, operating on a suspended or revoked license, and operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs with aggravating circumstances.

According to Fayette Circuit Court documents, Napier killed boyfriend John Sharp by hitting him with an axe and stabbing him with a knife.

Sharp, a former surgeon whose career ended after a nerve injury to his arm, was found dead outside a home on the 5900 block of Athens-Walnut Hill Road on July 4, two days after he died. On July 3, Napier allegedly stole a bucket truck from its driver at a BP station, leading police in a two-county, 40-mile pursuit until the truck's back tires were destroyed.

Napier was arrested and later told police she waited for Sharp to fall asleep before she stabbed him with a knife. Sharp then chased Napier through the house and outside, where he collapsed, and Napier assaulted him again, police said during a preliminary hearing.

A door was open when officers went to the house July 4, and there was blood throughout the home. Officers found Sharp outside. He had suffered multiple stab wounds.

Napier told police Sharp had handcuffed her, sexually assaulted her and forced her to perform oral sex.

An attorney for Napier, Erin Lucker, filed a motion allowing Fayette County jail officials to take Napier to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital for a rape kit to be conducted. According to the documents, Napier was "forcibly raped by the alleged victim in this case over the course of the several hours and sustained injuries as a result of the sexual assault."

Photos taken of Napier at the jail show bruising on her right wrist and right leg.

Napier is being held at the Fayette County jail on a $22,800 full cash bond. No bond has been set on the murder charge. Her arraignment is set for Sept. 17.