Two men get 20 years for deaths of teen girls

WINCHESTER, Ky. (WTVQ) — Two of four men charged in a double homicide more than two years ago are sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Denzel Hill

R. Ellis

The two men, 27-year-old Denzel Hill and 21-year-old Ronnie Ellis, pleaded guilty Thursday in Clark County Circuit Court.

They admitted to their role in the deaths of two teenagers — Adrianna Castro and Kayla Holland — who were caught in cross fire Nov. 7, 2017 as they left Washington Street Apartments in Winchester.

Hill and Ellis accepted plea bargain agreements. It was the second time for Hill, who originally pleaded last summer and then changed his mind.

Two other men, Matthew Carmen and 22-year-old Darian Skinner, still have charges pending.

Mikaela Buford, 19, who pleaded guilty previously to driving Skinner, Hill and Ellis to the apartment complex, is scheduled to be sentenced April 11. She faces up to 11 years in prison.

The shooting happened around 9 p.m. Nov. 7, 2017, in the parking lot of the complex. Witnesses said Hill, Skinner and Ellis got out of the car, spread out in the parking lot and began shooting. Carmen returned fire from an apartment.

The two 16-year-old victims were leaving an apartment and got caught in the crossfire. Both died from gunshot wounds.

Buford pleaded guilty to two counts of facilitation to commit murder and one count of complicity to first-degree wanton endangerment. Prosecutors recommended five year for each facilitation count and one year for complicity. Buford also agreed to testify against the others at trial.

She originally had been charged with complicity to commit murder, which carried 20 years to life.

During her plea hearing, she said she picked up Ellis, Hill and Skinner and knew they were armed. She claimed she didn’t see the actual shooting because she stayed in the car.

The four men originally were charged with two counts of murder.

Holland died at the scene and Castro died at the hospital.

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