WKYT - Harlan - Headlines

UPDATE: Police arrest man for former Evarts mayor murder

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

HARLAN COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Police say he shot and killed former Evarts Mayor Ronnie King and set a fire, but Shelby Shell claims he is innocent.

State police arrested Shell on Monday afternoon at his home in Berea and brought him to the Harlan County Detention Center.

Shelby Shell, 29, is charged with murder, robbery, burglary, arson and tampering with physical evidence in the death of 59-year-old Ronnie King.

In a jailhouse interview with WYMT's Angela Sparkman, Shell claims he did not kill King.

Shell is from Evarts but moved to Berea when he got out of jail in December.

Now Shell is back in jail, charged with the murder of Ronnie King.

"I was like, it's a mistake, they got the wrong one," said Shell.

Police say someone shot King and set his home on fire one week ago in Evarts.

Shell says he knew King. "I knew him. I liked Ronnie. I always liked Ronnie. He was always good to me you know," said Shell.

Shell says the mother of his children rented an apartment from King and says he even borrowed money from King recently.

Monday, state police arrested Shell at his home in Berea for King's murder.

"I haven't even been in Evarts. I got proof I was at work and stuff the whole time. I couldn't have been two places at a time when I lived all the way in Berea," said Shell.

Police say they have evidence Shell is responsible for the death of King but will not release any other details on the investigation and arrest.

"The arrest comes from a week long investigation; however, we can't go into any details of what led us to Mr. Shell, except we feel we have enough information to charge him with the murder of Mr. King," said Trooper Shane Jacobs.

"Everything's going to be okay because I'll beat in court. 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," Shell said.

Shell is being held in the Harlan County Detention Center on a $500,000 full cash bond.

Police also executed a search warrant at Shell's home in Berea.

State police say no more arrests are expected in the case.

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ORIGINAL STORY

HARLAN COUNTY, Ky. -- Police have arrested a man who they say is responsible for the murder of the former mayor of Evarts and the arson of his home.

On February 18th, police and firefighters responded to the scene of a house fire on Kelly St. in Evarts. After the fire was put out, detectives found the body of Ronnie King, 59, inside the home.

Initial results from an autopsy showed that King died of a single gun shot wound to the head.

On Monday, Kentucky State Police arrested Shelby Shell, 29, at his home in Berea. Shell was charged with King's death, as well as robbery, arson, and other charges.

He is being held in the Harlan County Detention Center. A cash bond for $500,000 has been set.


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