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Grand jury indicts six, hears murder charges



The Letcher County Grand Jury heard testimony last week in connection with the Dradrick “Drad” Fleming homicide, but did not report on whether it has returned indictments against the man and woman accused of murdering him.

Murder charges against Fleming’s wife, Stephanie Yvonn Jones Fleming, and her lover, James Ray Maggard, were referred to the grand jury after a preliminary hearing before Letcher District Judge Kevin Mullins on June 28.

Stephanie Fleming and Maggard are accused of murdering Drad Fleming on the night of June 20. Police say Maggard confessed to beating Mr. Fleming, an undergound coal miner, with a baseball bat and leaving him inside his truck near a mine site in the Black Mountain area of Letcher County. Fleming’s badly burned body was found three days later inside the truck, which was also burned.

Maggard, who met Mrs. Fleming while the two worked at McDonald’s in Whitesburg, is also charged with arson in connection with the case. He maintains he was acting in self-defense when he beat Mr. Fleming.

The grand jury heard testimony from investigators with the Letcher County Sheriff’s Department on July 12. The jury then reported to Letcher Circuit Judge Sam Wright and handed up criminal indictments against six other persons in cases it had heard earlier, including a Jenkins man who is charged with endangering a child and possessing the prescription drugs oxycodone and alprazolam.

The grand jury says Eric Ray Jenkins, 28, of 265 Axis Drive, Jenkins, had the painkiller oxycodone and the anti anxiety drug alprazolam in his possession on May 25 when he allowed a child to sit unrestrained in the front passenger seat of his automobile while the controlled substances and drug paraphernalia were in the same area of the car. He was also charged with possession of controlled substances not in their original containers and drug paraphernalia.

Letcher County Sheriff ’s Deputy Jarrod Hipps testifi ed in the case.

Also indicted are:

• James Allen Webb — receiving stolen property, no/expired registration receipt, no/expired registration plates, no insurance, failure to produce insurance card, suspended/revoked license, identity theft, and being a persistent felony offender.

Webb, 47, no address given, is charged with possessing a 1994 10 Chevrolet pickup truck stolen from Gerard Holbrook, Edge o Town Motors on April 26. He is also accused of identifying himself as his brother, James William Webb.

Fleming-Neon Police Officer Tim Miller testified in the case.

• Joan Lavon Akers — receiving stolen property.

Joan Lavon Akers, 37, 126 Forest Hills, Jenkins, is accused of possessing property valued at $500 or more stolen from the Kings for Christ Mission Center of Jenkins.

John Wyatt and Jenkins Police Chief Allen Bomes testified in the case.

• Malinda Suellan Mason — assault, attempted escape, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct, and terroristic threatening.

The grand jury says Mason, 32, 2635 Hwy. 2035, Little Cowan Road, Whitesburg, assaulted Letcher County Deputy Jailer Angela Fields and attempted to escape from the Letcher County Jail on June 14. She is also charged with damaging a necklace belonging to Fields, and with threatening to harm an unidentified man by a telephone call from the jail and to Fields.

Letcher County Deputy Jailer Angela Fields testified in the case.

• Nathan Blake Bentley — assault and being a persistent felony offender.

Bentley, 24, 74 Black Smith Road, Letcher, is charged with injuring Johnnie Mack Caudill during an assault on Nov. 10.

Letcher Deputy Jailer Joseph Pease testified in the case.

• John B. Banks — flagrant non support.

The grand jury says Banks, 39, 417 New Haven Road, Lancaster, owes $12,083 in child support for the period of Nov. 1, 2009 to July 10, 2012.



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