Tuesday, July 18, 2000

Innocent plea in slaying

Man denies shooting fellow student in '94

The Associated Press

        LEXINGTON — A former student pleaded innocent Monday to murder exactly six years after University of Kentucky football player Trent DiGiuro was shot to death on his porch.

        Fayette District Judge Pamela Goodwine set bond at $1 million cash for Shane Ragland.

        The case was transferred to District Judge Kevin Horne, and Mr. Ragland will appear before him Wednesday. Mr. Ragland, 27, was returned to the Fayette County Detention Center.

        Police allege Mr. Ragland seethed with rage for three years after Mr. DiGiuro helped get Mr. Ragland blackballed from a fraternity after Mr. Ragland boasted of having sex with a ranking fraternity member's girlfriend.

        Mr. Ragland acted on his anger on July 17, 1994, allege police documents filed after Mr. Ragland's arrest Friday.

        Mr. DiGiuro was killed by one shot as he sat on his front porch celebrating his 21st birthday.

        Police recovered a high-powered .243-caliber rifle from Mr. Ragland's home in Frankfort, said Joseph Famularo, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Police had said a high-powered rifle, thought to be a .243-caliber, was used in the sniper-style slaying.

        Tests will be conducted to determine if the rifle could have been used in the slaying, Mr. Famularo said.

        Mr. Ragland's family has hired Frankfort lawyer William E. Johnson to defend him.

        Mr. Ragland is the son of a prosperous, well-connected Frankfort businessman who is a financial contributor to Gov. Paul Patton.

        An apparent break in the case came for Lexington police in January when a former girlfriend of Mr. Ragland told them that he confessed the murder to her in 1995.


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