Man rejects plea deal in fatal shooting

Travon Edward Anthony

Travon Edward Anthony, an Owensboro man charged with 2018 shooting death of a stranger at a West Second Street motel, was scheduled to plead guilty Wednesday morning in Daviess Circuit Court.

Instead, Anthony upended the court process after he'd already signed the plea agreement by demanding he stand trial instead.

Anthony, 31, of the 2900 block of Legion Park Drive, was charged with murder, intimidating a participant in the legal process and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon in the Sept. 10, 2018, shooting death of Todd J. Raley, 52, at the former Ramada Inn on West Second Street.

In that incident, Raley was at the motel with a relative when they saw a vehicle drive into the parking lot and a man, later identified as Anthony, get out and go into an apartment. They also saw a woman get out of the vehicle and open the hood.

Court records say Raley went to ask the woman if she needed help, and that Anthony came outside "asked why (Raley) was talking to his woman, and then shot him multiple times," reports say.

Raley was shot in the torso, knee and arm, and died of complications from his injuries eight days after the incident. Anthony left the scene in the woman's vehicle. The woman later told police that Anthony threatened to kill her if she called the police.

Anthony was set to sign an Alford plea Wednesday, which is when a person doesn't admit guilt but agrees there is enough evidence for a jury to convict him or her at trial. The plea agreement called for Anthony to serve 25 years in prison and required him to serve 85 percent of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

Anthony was agitated and impatient with the process during the hearing, apparently crying at times and interrupting Daviess Circuit Judge Joe Castlen.

"Just give me my ... time and let me go on. That's how I feel," Anthony said, Later, Anthony said, "come on, get this s*** over with," using an expletive.

Anthony signed the plea agreement. Castlen outlined the rights Anthony was giving up by pleading guilty, such as the right to a trial where prosecutors would have to prove Anthony's guilt with all the costs paid by the state.

"Do you want to give up all your rights and go forward?" Castlen asked. After a long pause, Anthony said, "You know what? I'm going to trial. I ain't taking no plea," and finished his statement with another expletive.

Anthony's public defender Matt Meier said he could not comment on the hearing.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Nick Payne said he could not comment because the case was still ongoing. Anthony is currently scheduled to go to trial on Nov. 12.

"The commonwealth will be ready whenever the case is set for," Payne said.

James Mayse, 270-691-7303, jmayse@messenger-inquirer.com, Twitter: @JamesMayse

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