Victim in court as suspect answers to charges in Rockcastle Co.

MT. VERNON, Ky. (WKYT) - Doris Kissee says her grandson means the world to her. But on July 16th…at the old Hanson Quarry…police say he almost died.

“I just want to thank God for giving Derek another chance, it was a miracle that somebody found him,” she said.

The 23 year old was discovered buried under rocks at the old limestone quarry.

Police say Jason Gambrell robbed him of $700 and beat him in the head. They say Gambrel meant to kill him. He pleaded not guilty to attempted murder in Rockcastle Circuit Court Friday morning, while Kissee looked on.

Kissee spent a week at UK…almost that long at Cardinal Hill, and since then he’s required numerous appointments for rehabilitation.

“We are doing therapy three days a week, a doctor’s appointment once a week, he is improving,” she said.

His care has racked up thousands in medical bills but his grandmother says their community has responded in incredible ways.

“Yard sales and then p ersonal donations from friends. They have really helped us. I would like to thank every one of them,” she said.

Gambrell’s attorney tried to lower his $1 million bond, but the judge declined to do that. He said Gambrell is both a flight risk and a danger to the community.

The judge set his trial to begin on November 17th.

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