Lexington meth suspect has long criminal history

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Thomas John Stephens sat shirtless and in handcuffs outside the Knights Inn in Lexington, Monday night. He tried to tell police he didn't do anything wrong, but police weren't buying it. They say experience tells them otherwise.

A look at Stephens' history in Lexington and Scott county, turned up nearly a dozen charges, with a few indictments, and at least three convictions, all drug related.

According to a Scott County indictment, in 2002 Stephens was said to have sold meth to a confidential informant. That charge was rolled in with another trafficking charge from 2003 and two other charges of possession when he went to trial. He was found guilty and given five years, but ordered by a judged into shock probation.

In 2006, he was further ordered to be released from prison and into a rehabilitation program in Corbin.

Court records in Fayette County show a case for trafficking was filed against Stephens in 2005. He was convicted in January 2007 and sentenced to five years, but he was back on the streets less than a year later. That's when he was busted, again, in January of 2008 this time for manufacturing meth. That same year he was convicted in Fayette County and given a 10 year sentence. He was out on parole in March of 2012, which meant he only served roughly three-and-a-half years.

Also in Stephens' timeline, he was arrested in Scott County on a fugitive warrant from Indiana, where he was wanted for possession of methamphetamine.

Monday night, police raided a motel room where they found Stephens, his girlfriend Jenny Keller, and her 13-year-old son inside. Investigators say they found Stephens flushing more ingredients that's used to make the drug, but in the process he exposed everyone in the room to some potentially hazardous fumes. Police charged Stephens and Keller with manufacturing meth, Stephens' second such charge. However, this time they also charged him with violating his parole.

Still, only time will tell if the raid at this motel is the last strike for Stephens. He and Keller, both, appeared in court Tuesday and pled not guilty to the charges. They're expected back in court on May 9th for a preliminary hearing.

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