Convicted felon faces 15-year sentence for shootout
KENTON COUNTY, Ky. (Commonwealth’s Attorney Office Release) – On October 18, 2020, Covington Police were dispatched to Benton and Phelps Streets in City Heights Housing Project for a reported shooting. Officers found Alexander Stokes had been shot one time in the arm and he was taken to the hospital. The other reported shooter, Tyler Copeland, fled the scene.
Det. Jim Lindeman of Covington Police was assigned to the case. His investigation revealed Stokes was dating the mother of Copeland’s children. Copeland was upset about Stokes’ contact with his children and came over to Stokes’ residence to threaten him earlier in the day. The shooting was captured on video surveillance. The footage showed Stokes walking in City Heights when a white car driven by Copeland stopped in front of Stokes. Copeland began to get out with a gun drawn and both Copeland and Stokes traded gunfire. Stokes was hit in the arm but Copeland was not struck. One of the bullets Copeland fired went into a nearby apartment, almost hitting a resident.
Det. Lindeman’s investigation also revealed Copeland’s 11 year old daughter was in the car with him when he initiated the shootout with Stokes. Both Stokes and Copeland are convicted felons and, thus, not permitted to possess firearms. Stokes informed Det. Lindeman he obtained the handgun after receiving threats from Copeland and provided evidence of threatening Facebook posts from Copeland.
On October 5, 2021, Copeland pled guilty to Attempted Murder, Unlawful Possession of a Handgun by Convicted Felon, and 1st Degree Wanton Endangerment. Asst. Commonwealth’s Attorney Aaron Levinson, who prosecuted both defendants, is recommending a 15 year sentence. Copeland is scheduled for formal, final sentencing on November 16, 2021. Stokes previously pled guilty to Unlawful Possession of a Handgun by a Convicted Felon for this incident and is scheduled to be sentenced to 5 years in prison on 10/25/21.
“We can’t have felons shooting it out anywhere in this town, but especially not in a crowded housing project!” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders.
Sanders said residents are packed into City Heights so tightly that it was incredibly lucky no one else was injured or killed.
“It’s violence like this that produces the nightly body count we see across the river but we won’t stand for it here,” says Sanders. “We don’t need Cincinnati’s kind of problems on the South side of the river,” says Sanders.