Crime

Two indicted in Richmond on kidnapping, murder, abuse of corpse charges

RICHMOND — A Madison County grand jury indicted two men Wednesday in the kidnapping and deaths of a Richmond couple who had been missing for almost two years.

Matthew Denholm, 27, and Daniel Keene, 26, each were indicted on two counts of murder, two counts of kidnapping, one count of first-degree burglary, one count of tampering with physical evidence and two counts of abuse of a corpse.

Richmond police charged the two in late March in the deaths of Sonsaray "Sonsi" Warford, 30, and her boyfriend, Charles "Chew" Walker, 30.

Commonwealth's Attorney David Smith said Wednesday that he has not decided whether to pursue the death penalty against Denholm and Keene.

Warford and Walker were kidnapped from their Richmond apartment on or about June 29, 2010. After his arrest in March, Keene identified a site not far from Richmond where the two were buried, police said.

Walker allegedly was targeted for a contract killing by a Richmond drug dealer because Walker had stolen $180,000 from the man, an affidavit filed by Richmond police said. Warford was not a target but died because she was with Walker at the time, Richmond police said earlier this year.

The abuse of a corpse counts say that Denholm and Keene "intentionally treated" the corpses of Warford and Walker "in a way that would outrage ordinary family sensibilities."

In his statement to police, Keene said he began digging a grave while Denholm tortured and executed Warford and Walker. Denholm stabbed Walker several times, cut his throat, used a small hatchet to cut off Walker's hands and then extracted Walker's gold teeth.

Police have not said how Warford's body was abused, and the indictment does not provide details.

Keene, an Eastern Kentucky University student, and Denholm both served in Iraq and Afghanistan but were not together during those deployments. They also worked together in security at a Lexington hotel, police have said.

The indictments list Richmond police detective William O'Donnell as the lone witness before the grand jury.

The families of Warford and Walker have not been able to bury their loved ones since a Madison district judge granted a motion to preserve the bodies for evidence.

Gregory Todd, Warford's father, said Wednesday that the bodies might not be available for burial for six to eight months, while investigators await DNA evidence.

Todd had no comment on the indictments.

Denholm also faces murder and attempted murder charges in a Nov. 21 shoot-out in Berea. In that case, Zackary Flower, 25, was killed, and his roommate, Kevin Price, was wounded.

The arraignment before Madison Circuit Judge Jean Chenault Logue is tentatively scheduled for June 15.

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