Strong Possibility of More Indictments in Murder of Teen in Covington

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: The big story last week was that Romello Rice pleaded guilty to murder and robbery for his role in the shooting death of Brett Thornberry. His recommended sentence is twenty years. Rice has agreed to testify against the two other defendants in the murder case. What should we be looking for as this tragic case comes to trial?

SANDERS: The investigation into Mr. Thornberry's death has been on-going since the date it occurred.  I cannot go into the specifics of the evidence except to say we believed all along that Mr. Rice was not acting alone.  I anticipate the new evidence obtained as a result of Mr. Rice's cooperation to be presented to the Kenton County Grand Jury this week or next.  I would watch for a strong possibility of new indictment(s) being returned in connection with the killing at that time.

RCN: Brian Walsh faces 5 years in prison for burglary and assault. What's his case about?

SANDERS: This was a frightening and bizarre case.  Mr. Walsh broke into the home of a woman in her early 20's on Wilson Road in Taylor Mill.  The woman was not home at the time but Walsh waited inside the residence.  The woman and her boyfriend arrived in the early morning hours and began to engage in intercourse.  During their copulation Walsh began assaulting the boyfriend by hitting him with a screwdriver.  An altercation ensued during which the woman turned on the lights.  Walsh fled from the house.  The woman said she did not know the burglar but recognized him as having come to her home on a prior occasion with a mutual friend.  She contacted the friend who provided Walsh's name and phone number to police.  Though it took a few days to get Walsh's cooperation, he eventually came to Taylor Mill PD where he confessed to breaking into the house and watching the couple have sex.  Walsh said he thought one of the pair saw him so he hit the man with the screwdriver in an attempt to knock him out before fleeing the residence.  The boyfriend sustained a minor injury to his head and hand. 

RCN: Alexis Dietrich, like Walsh, also pleaded guilty to second degree burglary but her recommended sentence is seven years, and she didn't have the additional assault charge. Why the longer recommended sentence?

SANDERS: Covington Police Specialist Robert Bacon was working a plain-clothes detail in South Covington, specifically targeting a rash of burglaries in the Crystal Lake subdivision, when dispatch received calls for burglaries in progress at two separate residences.  A neighbor provided a description of one burglar who Bacon spotted and chased on foot.  Bacon caught Wesley Ulm who indicated he was living in a Honda Civic in a driveway of a house on Juarez Circle with the mother of his two children, Alexis Dietrich.  Detectives were called in to interview the couple.  After several lies, the pair eventually confessed to being responsible for the two burglaries.  Both admitted to having a heroin addicition and said they were stealing to feed their habits.  Detectives located several stolen items in the Honda, including a stolen handgun.  The recommendation is higher than our usual first time burglary conviction because of the weapon involved.  Ulm's recommended sentence is 10 years because he entered a residence while armed with the stolen gun.

See the full list and mugshots of those who were convicted of felonies in Kenton County Circuit Court, including the ones referenced above, at the link: This Week in Kenton Circuit Court