Three Face Prison Time for Beating, Robbery at Covington Hotel

Each week The River City News talks with Kenton County Commonwealth's Attorney Rob Sanders about his weekly e-newsletter that highlights who was sent to prison or got probation in the previous week. At the bottom of this post you can find a link to that newsletter. Here are this week's questions and answers:

RCN: Ryan Hoff faces six years in prison after pleading guilty to possession of matter portraying a minor in sexual performance. He was busted by the Attorney General's Office. What's the story?

SANDERS: The Office of the KY Attorney General has a cyber crimes unit that investigates online crime. One of the many things the cyber crimes unit does is to monitor file sharing networks for people in Kentucky trading child pornography over the internet. Investigators noticed one user on eDonkey peer to peer network sharing child porn files. They traced the IP address of the user to a home in Independence. A search warrant was executed on the residence and multiple computers and other electronic devices were seized. When each was searched by computer forensics experts, they learned the member of the household using the computer doing the sharing was Ryan Hoff. In addition, the investigators located 33,625 images and 325 videos of child pornography on Hoff's computer.  Hoff pled guilty to two counts of Possession of Matter Portraying a Sexual Performance by a Minor and faces a six year prison sentence at final sentencing. He will also have to register as a sex offender.

RCN: Krystle Findley, Shawn Brooks, and Jamel Gatewood pleaded guilty to second degree robbery (two counts for Gatewood) and records show that they were arrested on the same day. They all face six and a half years in prison. Are their cases connected and what did they do?

SANDERS: On October 5, 2012, Covington Police were called to the Radisson Hotel for an assault. Officer Douglas Ullrich met with two hotel patrons who said they had been beat up in their room by two men and a woman. The first man said he was sleeping and awoke to two men assaulting his friend in the room the two shared while the woman looked on. The second man, who was obviously intoxicated, said he met the woman in a bar, however he couldn't remember which one, and she accompanied him back to the hotel but the man insisted this woman was not a prostitute. He said he didn't know how the two men got in the room but one held him down while the other punched him in the face. While speaking with police, the sober victim realized his wallet was missing and told police he thought he'd been robbed. Officer Josh Bornhorn stopped a 2012 Chevy Silverado at 9th & Main and located Krystle Findley, Jamel Gatewood, and Shawn Brooks inside. The truck was registered to the drunk victim. Bornhorn found the three in possession of both victims wallets.  When Ullrich asked the drunk victim where his wallet was, the drunk realized he too had been robbed.  The drunk then became irate when he learned his truck had also been taken.  Findley would later confess to officers that she and her codefendants had been planning to rob anyone she met that night. Findley said she met the drunk victim at Concepts, one of Covington's last remaining strip clubs.  Findley said she convinced the man she was a prostitute and he agreed to take her back to his hotel.  Findlay then relayed her location to Brooks and Gatewood via text message.  When they arrived, FIndley let them in where they began to assault the drunk. The sober victim was an innocent bystander until he went to the aid of his drunk friend who was being held down and punched in the face.  Each of the three robbery conspirators faces 6 1/2 years in prison at final sentencing before Kenton Circuit Judge Patricia Summe.

RCN: Christopher Hill pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and faces two years for that. Is this the same Christopher Hill that was indicted last fall on murder and first degree robbery charges in connection to the Brett Thornberry killing? Are the other charges gone now?

SANDERS: It is the same Christopher Hill that still faces charges in connection with the murder of Brett Thornberry.  Hill was facing the Firearm by Felon charge and on electronically monitored house arrest pending trial.  The evening Thornberry was murdered, Hill cut off his ankle monitor and fled his house arrest, resulting in 2nd Degree Escape and Tampering with a Prison Monitoring Device charges.  The timing of the cases is all intertwined but the charges are not.  Hill will do 2 years for the firearm and another year for the escape and tampering charges for a total of 3 years.  His Murder and Robbery charges are still pending.  Resolving these cases by way of plea means the Dept. of Corrections will start footing the bill for Hill's incarceration rather than leaving him on Kenton County's dime.  Hill, of course, is presumed not guilty of murder and robbery until proven otherwise.

See the full list and mugshots of those who were convicted of felonies in Kenton County Circuit Court in addition to a full explanation of the Cline case ​at the link: This Week in Kenton Co. Circuit Court

Photo: (Top to bottom) Jamel Gatewood, Krystle Findley, Shawn Brooks