Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

May 13, 2013

Powell man indicted in infant’s death

CATLETTSBURG — A Powell County man accused in the beating death of an infant was indicted Monday by a Boyd County grand jury.

Grand jurors indicted Brett R. Thompson, 18, of Stanton, on a murder charge, Boyd Commonwealth’s Attorney David Justice said. He could get 20 years to life in prison if he is convicted.

Thompson is accused in the death of 2-month-old Alivia Noel Worstell of Westwood. He was the boyfriend of the baby’s mother, Heather Worstell, 19.

According to Kentucky State Police at Ashland, the Boyd County Sheriff’s Department was dispatched to a residence in the 100 block of Caroline Drive on May 4 after receiving a report of an unresponsive infant in the home. Boyd County Emergency Medical Services also responded and transported the baby to King’s Daughters Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead by Boyd County Deputy Coroner Dr. Ralph Beadle.

An autopsy performed May 5 at the state Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort showed the youngster had died of multiple head and brain injuries caused by blunt-force trauma, the KSP said. Following the autopsy, the sheriff’s department contacted the KSP and requested the case be assigned to a detective.  Detective Ben Cramer responded and launched an investigation, the KSP said. During the course of the probe, Cramer learned Thompson had struck the infant in the head.

Thompson is being held in the Boyd County Detention Center.

In an unrelated case, grand jurors on Monday also indicted 18-year-old Alec E. Burress of Westwood on a first-degree assault charge for allegedly stabbing a 16-year-old boy during a fight.

The incident occurred about 9:45 p.m. May 5 in the 2100 block of Main Street in Westwood. Burress allegedly pulled a pocket knife during the altercation and stabbed the 16-year-old five times. The juvenile suffered a punctured lung, the Boyd County Sheriff’s Department said. He was taken initially to King’s Daughters Medical Center and later transferred to Cabell Huntington Hospital.

Burress also is lodged in the Boyd County Detention Center.

A grand jury indictment is a formal accusation of a crime and does not establish guilt.

KENNETH HART can be reached at khart@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2654.

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