Family of murder suspect reacts to indictment

By: Rebekah Pewitt Email
By: Rebekah Pewitt Email

HARLAN, Ky. (WYMT) - A man accused of killing a former mayor now faces an eight count indictment.

A Harlan County grand jury returned an indictment Wednesday against murder suspect Shelby Shell.

Police arrested and charged shell with the murder of former Evarts Mayor Ronnie King in February.

For Ernie Shell, the news of his brother's indictment was not an easy thing to hear.

“It's sad. I mean, he's my brother and I love him. I can’t change what happened,” said Ernie

He says his brother, Shelby Shell, confessed that he was responsible for the murder of former Evarts mayor, Ronnie King. King's body was found dead inside his burning home in February. Shelby denied the accusations during an interview with WYMT.

“I didn't do it you know what I'm saying, they don't got no evidence on me, you know what I'm saying? I ain't done nothing,” said Shelby in an interview in February.

But Ernie says he knows it is not true, because of past conversations he's had with Shelby.

“When he's talking about things that he's done, and you're sitting there like, no you didn't do this and just trying to put it out of your mind; and then he just stands up belligerently and says yes I did I am this,” said Ernie.

A Grand Jury returned an eight count indictment against Shelby, which includes murder, kidnapping and arson. Yet, Ernie says he is still willing to support his brother.

“I'll continue to support my brother in the right way. I'm not going to say I hope he gets out of everything I'm not going to do that because I think there needs to be a certain part of justice there,” said Ernie.

He says part of that justice should include a mental evaluation of Shelby. We talked to family members of Ronnie king by phone, and none of them wanted to be interviewed for this story.

Shell is expected to be arraigned on may 16th.

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