Lexington man, 50, fatally shot; son is charged with murder

A Lexington man pleaded not guilty to charges that he fatally shot his father Tuesday evening.

Verdis Kyle Pennington III, 18, is charged with murder in the shooting death of Verdis K. Pennington Jr., 50. The elder Pennington died Tuesday night from a gunshot wound to the head, according to a report by the Fayette County coroner's office.

Police responded to the Penningtons' Nakomi Drive home around 7:45 p.m. The arrest followed a brief homicide investigation.

"Initial reports had indicated that this was an accidental shooting; however, the investigation continued throughout the night and resulted in the arrest," Curless said.

Pennington III was arrested just after midnight after being brought to police headquarters for questioning, Curless said.

According to a police report, the younger Pennington "obtained a handgun," confronted his father and then fired the fatal shot.

Curless said the shooting was a result of "some type of family issue," but he would not specify what precipitated the shooting. "Those facts will be brought out in court proceedings," he said.

The shooting happened at 611 Nakomi Drive, where according to court documents Pennington Jr. lived with his wife, Angela Pennington, and their son.

No one appeared to be home at that address for much of the day Wednesday. Windows were blocked with sheets and closed blinds, and a front porch gate was secured with a bicycle lock.

Court documents tell of a troubled family history. Several emergency protective orders have been filed between family members, including one by Pennington Jr. against his wife.

Pennington Jr. said Angela Gale Pennington had pulled guns and knives in the past during arguments in front of the children, according to a petition for a domestic violence order filed in May.

Pennington Jr.'s parents, Verdis Pennington Sr. and Caroline Pennington, have filed EPOs against Pennington Jr. claiming he came to their house and started fights. Pennington Sr. and Caroline Pennington took custody of Pennington III and three brothers and sisters in 2004, according to court documents.

Pennington Jr. had criminal charges dating to the 1990s in Lexington. He had been charged with misdemeanor harassment, theft by deception, welfare fraud and shoplifting.

Pennington III does not have a criminal history in Lexington, though he has posted on his Facebook page that he has spent time in jail.

In another posting on his page, Pennington III wished a happy father's day to all fathers.

"It's a lil late to say dis but happy fathers day to all da daddys, I LUV U DAD!!!!!" he wrote.

Pennington III declined a request for an interview from the Fayette County jail.

After the shooting, Pennington Jr. was taken to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, where he died at 8:23 p.m., the coroner's report said.

Pennington III was being held without bond at the Fayette County jail. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Dec. 6.

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader