UK vice president posts bond for student accused of firing gun

A University of Kentucky ROTC student pleaded not guilty Wednesday to accusations that he fired a gun in a residential area and drove drunk.

Joseph Ches, 19, is charged with first-degree wanton endangerment and driving under the influence. He was arrested at his apartment on Simpson Avenue early Wednesday, according to court records.

He was released from jail on a $7,500 bond paid by Frank Butler, UK's executive vice president and chief executive officer, according to court records.

Butler appeared in Fayette District Court with Ches on Wednesday. He declined to comment when asked whether he was related to Ches.

UK spokesman Jay Blanton said that he was not sure of the relationship between the two, but that Butler "was not acting on behalf of the university with respect to this issue."

Police were called to apartments at 201 Simpson Avenue about 12:30 a.m. on a report of shots fired, police said. Two men who lived there told officers that their roommate, Ches, had fired a rifle into the air and driven away.

The men said Ches "had gotten intoxicated and quite upset," Lexington police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said.

Police arrested Ches as he tried to return to his apartment. They found two "high-powered rifles" in his car, Roberts said.

Officers confiscated the rifles and other weapons in Ches' apartment, she said.

His Florida-issued license was suspended by District Court Judge David Hayse because Ches refused a breath test to determine his blood-alcohol level.

Ches is listed as an undergraduate studies major at UK who is involved in the university's Reserve Officer Training Corps program, spokeswoman Kathy Johnson said. His Facebook page lists him as a 2009 graduate of Lexington Catholic High School.

He was scheduled to return to court for a preliminary hearing Jan. 13.