Louisville, Kentucky

From the Louisville Courier-Journal of July 3, 2007

Murder charge dropped in shooting of 15-year-old

A murder charge against 19-year-old Troy L. Cole has been dropped after police determined that he was likely acting in self-defense.

Cole was charged with the murder of 15-year-old Jordan Adams, who was shot just after midnight Sunday in the 4500 block of Beechbrook Road in Newburg.

Lt. Barry Wilkerson said this afternoon that after interviewing Cole and witnesses, police believe Cole was being robbed by Adams and another 15-year-old when an altercation broke out and Adams showed a gun.

That prompted Cole to shoot in self defense, Wilkerson said.

The other 15-year-old, whose name has not been released because he is a juvenile, has been charged with robbery, Wilkerson said.

Cole is still charged with tampering with physical evidence, but his bond was reduced after the murder charge was dropped, Wilkerson said.

Adams was a runaway who dropped out of Seneca High School, according to Christopher 2X, a spokesman for his family.

Wilkerson said the commonwealth’s attorney’s office will review the case to determine whether any other charges will be filed in the case.

From the Louisville Courier-Journal of September 29, 2007

Robbery suspect accused of murder

Teen did not fire shots killing friend

When two 15-year-olds went to a Norfolk area home around midnight July 2 to rob 19-year-old Troy Cole, Cole fought back, shooting and killing one of them, Jordan Adams, who also had a gun, according to police.

But Cole isn’t the person facing a murder charge in Adams’ death. Dante Pardue is, Adams’ friend and accomplice in the robbery.

Prosecutors acknowledge that Pardue not only didn’t fire a shot, he wasn’t even carrying a weapon. But he set the events in motion, recruiting Adams to commit the crime, Jefferson County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Khalid Kahloon said.

“But for Pardue soliciting this guy and giving him the idea, he (Adams) would not be dead,” Kahloon said.

Cole, 19, was initially charged with murder after fleeing the scene and hiding his gun, but the charge was dropped when police determined he was acting in self-defense during a home invasion.

Kahloon acknowledges the case against Pardue is a legal rarity — his office has not found a similar one in Kentucky — but he believes the murder charges are appropriate under state law.

“If you engage in a dangerous felony and as a result someone is killed, you will be responsible for that person’s death,” he said.

But the Jefferson County public defender’s office, which is representing Pardue, said the murder charge is not only unheard of, it’s unfair.

“Everyone around here believes it’s unprecedented,” said Emily Farrar-Crockett, deputy division chief of the public defender’s juvenile division. “It really makes no sense.”

Farrar-Crockett said Pardue, who is also charged with robbery and burglary, didn’t have a weapon, didn’t struggle with Cole, played no part in Cole’s decision to shoot Adams and had no idea Adams would die.

“There’s no crime for the person who killed the individual. How can there be a crime for a bystander?” Farrar-Crockett asked.

“To say that an unarmed child is responsible for that, I think it’s a real stretch.”

Mother opposes charge

Pardue’s mother, Rhonda Pardue, also said the murder charge is not appropriate, especially given her son’s age, his cooperation with police and the fact that he didn’t shoot anybody — or, she says, mean any harm to Adams, his best friend.

“I’m not saying he’s innocent of everything, but he should not be charged with murder. … He ran before anything happened,” she said, adding that the charge will be on his record forever. “If he’s found guilty or not, this is going to ruin his life.”

(More)

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