WKYT - Richmond - Headlines

Charges reduced against two men in murder case

Three men charged in the murder of a central Kentucky man were back in court Wednesday morning.

22-year-old James Brown, 24-year-old William Ambrose, and 29-year-old Robert Girdner are all charged in the crime, which happened last week in Madison County.

During Wednesday's preliminary hearing, we got a clearer picture of what police say happened the night Gary Hicks, Junior died.

Both Girdner and Ambrose told state police Brown approached them, looking to buy Percocets.

They drove him to Hicks' house, on Frances Lane, north of Richmond.

Ambrose said he'd bought drugs off of Hicks in the past.

Police say Girdner and Ambrose went into Hicks' home to buy the drugs, leaving Brown and Ambrose's girlfriend in the car.

"She (the girlfriend) says Brown got out of the car and then she noticed he had a shotgun," Kenneth Bradley, of Kentucky State Police said. "He ran into the building and she heard two shots, then all three ran off and they fled."

Ambrose and Girdner were arrested after police say Ambrose called Hicks' father, saying he had been in the home the night of the shooting.

Brown was arrested at his home.

After Wednesday's hearing, the case was sent to the grand jury.

James Brown is still facing a murder charge, but the charges against Ambrose and Girdner were amended to complicity to murder.

As the men were leaving the courtroom, Girdner turned to James Brown and said, "Why did you do this?"

Girdner's family was in court today, but they did not wish to comment on camera.


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