UPDATE: Judge sends Winchester murder charge to grand jury

UPDATE POSTED 6:30 P.M. JUNE 2, 2021

WINCHESTER, Ky. (WTVQ) – Murder charges against a Winchester man will go to a Clark County Grand Jury. And the suspect, Steven McGuire is a threat to himself and others and will remain in jail under a $1 million cash bond, a judge ruled Wednesday.

District Judge Earl-Ray Neal made the decision following a 50-minute preliminary hearing that included a picture of victim Sheila Smith lying where she was shot in the hallway of a downtown Winchester Apartment on May 14.

She was shot one time in the temple just a few feet outside McGuire’s apartment on the second floor, a detective said, describing the scene. One .45-caliber shell casing was found near her body and the door to McGuire’s apartment.

Smith’s mother and sister sat in on the hearing and heard detective Alex Belcher testify about the investigation. That included McGuire saying he and Smith previously had a relationship but not any more.

He also calmly talked of the shooting and where the .45-caliber semiautomatic was under his couch.

“That she’d come up to the apartment and they were screaming and yelling at each other and she was saying all these bad things about him that he said wasn’t true and he said, ‘I got my gun and I shot her. As he describes it, I closed the door and it was peaceful. The statement that he gave,” Belcher said of his interview with McGuire, who he described as “calm” and “coherent.”

McGuire’s public defender, McKenzie Marshall, suggested he has a long history of mental illness. Neal said that was an issue for a later time.

Smith’s mother, Cathy Wadsworth, urged the judge not to lower the bond.

“”I don’t agree with his bond being lowered, I don’t,” she told the judge. “I ask the judge please not to lower his bond.”


WINCHESTER, Ky. (WTVQ) – A family will have to wait a week for the wheels of justice to start turning in a Clark County fatal shooting case.

Clark County District Court Judge Cole Adams Maier granted 39-year-old Steven McGuire a continuance Wednesday on his preliminary hearing on murder charges. The hearing now is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. June 2 before Judge Earl-Ray Neal.

McGuire is accused of murder in the May 14 shooting death of 34-year-old Sheila Smith in the hallway outside his apartment in a downtown Winchester building.

He pleaded not guilty at a May 17 hearing, but at the time, police said McGuire admitted to the shooting.

Smith was shot while visiting friends at in the apartment building, and lay bleeding in the hallway after being shot while McGuire went back in his apartment, witnesses told police at the time.

Smith and McGuire knew each other as acquaintances, police said.

McGuire remains in jail on a $1 million cash bond.


WINCHESTER, Ky. (WTVQ) – A woman was shot to death Friday afternoon in Winchester, according to Clark County Deputy Coroner Neal Oliver.

The victim was identified as 34-year old Sheila Smith, of Winchester, according to the deputy coroner.

Winchester Police say someone called 911 around 4:30 p.m. to report a woman had been shot in an apartment building at 40 1/2 North Main Street.

Officers say they found Smith in the hallway suffering from a single gunshot wound. The deputy coroner says Smith was rushed to Clark Regional Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.

Witnesses told officers the man accused of shooting Smith, Steven McGuire, was still in the building, in his apartment.

Police say they took 39-year-old McGuire, of Winchester, into custody without incident and he admitted to shooting Smith.

McGuire has been charged with murder in connection to Smith’s death, which was ruled a homicide, according to the deputy coroner. McGuire was taken to the Clark County Detention Center.

Police say they think McGuire and Smith were acquainted, but there’s no evidence of a substantial previous relationship between the two.

An autopsy for Smith is scheduled Saturday at the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Louisville.

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