Crime

Police charge 18-year-old in Lexington homicide

Quante Johnson
Quante Johnson

An 18-year-old man has been charged with murder in Lexington's first homicide of 2013, police said.

Quante Jarod Johnson also is charged with tampering with evidence in the Jan. 5 death of Joe Randolph.

During a brief court hearing Wednesday afternoon, Fayette District Judge Julie Goodman entered a not-guilty plea on Johnson's behalf and scheduled a preliminary hearing Jan. 23. Goodman assigned Johnson's case to the public defender's office.

Johnson previously has used the name "Little Foot," according to court filings.

He appeared in court Wednesday via video from the Fayette County Detention Center, where he is being held without bond.

Specifics in the case remained sketchy Wednesday.

Arrest documents filed with the court say only that Johnson "caused the death of the victim through the intentional use of a deadly weapon." The tampering charge stems from allegations that Johnson disposed of the gun used in the shooting, according to the documents.

Police Sgt. Pete Ford said Wednesday morning that officers continued to investigate, but that no other arrests were anticipated. Ford said he wasn't sure if Johnson and Randolph knew each other, but the investigation should uncover more details. Ford said he could not talk about a motive.

Johnson was at Lexington police headquarters Tuesday night, Ford said, and charges were filed there.

Asked whether Johnson came in on his own, Ford said he couldn't "get into that right now."

"We had been working diligently on this case, day and night," he said. "Then, yesterday or early this morning, some things did turn for us and happened to play into our favor. Unfortunately, I can't go into the details on that but ... we were able to make an arrest of a suspect in this case."

Ford said tips from the public and "a lot of hard work from detectives" helped lead to the arrest.

Randolph, 48, who was found at his Simpson Avenue home, was shot multiple times, Lexington police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said in a statement Wednesday. Randolph died at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital.

Randolph's relatives have said they had no idea who would want to hurt him. They described him as a happy-go-lucky man, a talented carpenter and a caretaker for his grandmother before she died.

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