Crime

Guilty verdict in Estill murder trial

A jury has found an Estill County man guilty of wanton murder in the case of a woman shot on a rural road.

Bruce Hartley, 49, was found guilty Wednesday in the murder of Angel Riddell, 25, on Jan. 5, 2008, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Jeff Stiles said.

Hartley also was found guilty of first-degree wanton endangerment and tampering with physical evidence. The jury recommended that Hartley serve 30 years in prison for murder and concurrent five-years sentences for wanton endangerment and tampering with physical evidence. Hartley would have to serve 20 years before becoming eligible for parole, Stiles said.

He is to be sentenced on Sept. 25.

The case involved a dispute over money. Brenda Davenport, 35, who had driven the victim to Hartley's home, testified Monday that she and Riddell had gone to the home "to pick up some money."

She said Riddell went into Hartley's house, then the two came out onto his porch a short time later. Riddell returned to the van, where Davenport waited, and said Hartley had accused her of stealing money.

Davenport said she told her friend to return the money, and Riddell went back to Hartley and did so.

But when Riddell returned to the van a second time, she said Hartley still accused her of stealing money.

At that point, Hartley shot into the van "three or four" times, striking Riddell, Davenport testified.

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