In plea deal, 20 years recommended for Winchester slaying suspect

WINCHESTER, Ky. (WTVQ) – A Winchester man faces 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to his role in a 2017 double homicide at a Winchester apartment complex.

During a hearing Thursday in Clark County Circuit Court, 25-year-old Matthew Carmen pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree manslaughter, reduced from murder, wanton endangerment and tampering with evidence, court documents state.

As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors recommended 15 years on each manslaughter count, to run concurrently and five years on each of the other two counts. The five years would run concurrent but consecutive to the 15 years for a total of 20 years to serve, according to court documents.

Formal sentencing is set for June 3.

The charges stem from a wild shootout Nov. 7, 2017, at 27 E. Washington St. The two 16-year-old victims, Adreanna Castro and Kayla Holland, were killed in the crossfire, police said.

During previous court hearings, police have said Police said Denzel Hill, Ronnie Ellis and Darian Skinner were driven to the apartments around 9 p.m. Nov. 7, 2017, got out of the car, spread out and started firing.

Carmen returned fire from an apartment, police have said.

Winchester Police have said they believe the shooting stemmed from an exchange of words earlier in the day which included the two victims, Hill, Skinner, Ellis and Mikaela Buford.

Buford pleaded guilty in March to two counts of facilitation to murder and one count of complicity to wanton endangerment for her role. She said she knew they were armed when she drove Hill, Ellis and Skinner to the seeing the shooting.

Charges still are pending against Hill, Ellis and Skinner.

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