The Trial of Kevin Dunlap
In February and March, a sentencing trial was held Kevin Wayne Dunlap after he pleaded guilty to murder, rape, arson, kidnapping and other charges related to the Roaring Spring triple murder case.
The sentencing trial was to determine whether Dunlap, of Hopkinsville, would receive a jail sentence of up to life in prison or the death penalty. In early March, a Smithland jury took almost three hours to give Dunlap the death penalty on all three capital murder charges and all three capital kidnapping charges.
Dunlap plead guilty on Feb. 9 to all 14 charges springing from the Oct. 15, 2008, Roaring Springs triple murder case, wherein he raped and tried to kill Kristy Frensley, killed her three children and burned their house down.
At the trial, Trigg County Commonwealth’s Attorney G.L. Ovey said in his closing statement that if ever there was a crime that deserved the death penalty, the murders of Kayla Elayne Williams, 17, Kortney Lan Frensley, 14, and Ethan Zane Frensley, 5, would be it.
Dunlap’s defense attorney James Gibson had asked to give Dunlap life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The mother survived the attack and testified against Dunlap during the trial. She said he came to her house shortly before her children came home claiming he wanted to look at her house, which was for sale.
The 2008 Memorial Day Weekend rape case
In May, Five teens plead guilty to second-degree assault charges, which were reduced from first-degree rape charges. Judge C.A. “Woody” Woodall III dismissed the sodomy charges
Defendants Devon Morris, 21, Christopher Futtrell, 21, Nicholas King, 21, Michael Oakley, 21, and Marcus Mayes, 22, were accused of the 2008 Memorial Day weekend rape of a then 16-year-old girl at a home and a business in Cadiz and Trigg County.
The judge told the defendants that the victim okayed the resolution but told them that they have to issue a public apology to the her, which they did in July.
Futrell, King, Morris and Oakley were each originally charged with rape in first degree and sodomy in the first degree. Futrell, King, Morris and Oakley are accused in the indictments of having sexual intercourse and deviant sexual intercourse with a then 16-year-old girl who was allegedly incapable of consent because she was physically helpless.
Mayes was originally charged with rape in first degree, and was accused of having sexual intercourse with the girl.
The sale of alcohol begins
Starting in late January, establishments in Cadiz and Trigg County started to sell alcohol, starting with the sale of beer at some convenience stores.
For roughly the first six months, the county received all of the revenue from the sale of alcohol, as it had approved an alcohol ordinance in December 2009. The Cadiz City Council passed its own alcohol ordinance, which took effect on July 15 – the date that Cadiz was redesignated as a Class Four City.
Several liquor stores have popped up, some in the county and some in the city, and restaurants like El Bracero and Timbers also serve alcohol. Cadiz Police Chief Hollis Alexander has consistently said that the crime rate hasn’t noticeably increased due to the sales.
But for some people, opinions on the matter haven’t changed. Mike Rust, who was involved in Trigg Citizens Against Alcohol last year, said he still views the sale of alcohol as harmful to the community.
In the Sept. 29 referendum last year, Trigg citizens voted to repeal prohibition, which had been in effect for more than a hundred years, by 36 votes.
The Justice Center parking lot
Earlier this year, three buildings were demolished to make way for a parking lot for the Trigg County Justice Center, a parking lot with roughly 20 parking spaces.
Early in the summer, three buildings were demolished to make room for the parking lot, and in late July, the county’s Project Development Board approved a plan for a parking lot with green space that will have about 25 parking spaces.
Gravel was added in time for the Ham Festival in early October, but it wasn’t until after Thanksgiving that the parking lot was paved. It was open to the public earlier this month.
In late October last year, the board purchased the Virginia Alexander Building for $40,000 from Virginia Alexander, the old Boggess Chevrolet Building was purchased for 80,000 from Kathryn Costello, who is listed as a trustee for John Preston White, and the old Court Clerk’s Office and District Court Building was purchased for $136,000 from Dennis and Linda Thomas, according to deeds from the Trigg County Clerk’s Office.
The new Trigg County Senior Citizens Center
The new Trigg County Senior Citizens Center building, located on Joy Lane, was finished in July this year, and staff, seniors and equipment moved from the previous location on Jefferson Street in early August.
Both senior citizens and senior center workers have adjusted well to the new Trigg County Senior Citizens Center building so far, said Trigg County Judge Executive Stan Humphries.
An exercise room and more meeting rooms, and a safer parking lot with more parking spaces than at the old building, are some of the reasons why the new building is preferable, said Senior Center Director Carolyn Bland.
Humphries said the county is looking into the possibility of using the old senior center building, which dates back to before the Civil War, as the location of a Trigg County Museum, hopefully with the aid of transportation grants.
The 34th annual Trigg County Ham Festival
Perhaps twice the number of people attended this year’s Ham Festival, held Oct. 8 – 10, as last year, said Cadiz Renaissance Director Leida Underhill, who is also a member of the Trigg County Ham Festival Committee.
Underhill estimated that as many as 80,000 people attended this year’s festival. It was estimated that about 40,000 people attended last year. Bill Stevens, executive director of the Cadiz/Trigg County Tourism Commission, has said that the average in previous years has been about 50,000.
The economic impact of the festival on the Cadiz/Trigg County area is estimated at $2.5 million, Stevens said, adding that that is a conservative estimate.
Thelma Fowler, also a member of the Trigg County Ham Festival Committee, said that overall, the festival went very well this, thanks in part to the economy, the weather, and some new events and more space to fill.
The Ham Festival this year featured music by local artist Olivia Rose, Colgate Showdown winner Karla Davis, the Roys, Blaine Larsen, Buddy Jewell, Third Time Out and The Ridgerunners, among others.
The Roys, Blaine Larsen and Buddy Jewell played on Saturday night for Compassion Night, and there was barely standing room for their performances.
Among the new events were a pumpkin contest, which became a pumpkin decorating contest due to the lack of rain this summer, and a yard-decorating contest along U.S. 68, from Interstate 24 to the state park.