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How a Search for Marijuana Led to Murder in Covington

The January 2011 murder of Clayton Meyer on Patton Street in Covington is recounted by Kenton Count Commonwealth's Attorney Rob Sanders in his weekyl newsletter:

 

In the early morning hours of January 5, 2011, Clayton Meyer left a residence he shared with his father and began walking around Covington's Eastside looking for someone who would sell him marijuana. Meyer happened across 17-year old Stacey Spencer and asked Spencer if he could find marijuana to purchase. Spencer, who would later admit to regularly selling small amounts of marijuana on behalf of other dealers, agreed to assist Meyer and began calling his usual connections. Spencer was unsuccessful in finding a source until he called Michael Rousseau who agreed to respond to Spencer with marijuana to sell. By this time, Meyer and Spencer had walked to Eastern Avenue in the Helentown neighborhood of Covington.
 

After some time and several phone calls, Rousseau finally arrived on Eastern Avenue. Rousseau pulled Spencer off to the side and said he had no drugs to sell but told Spencer the pair would rob Meyer. Both Rousseau and Spencer were already armed. Spencer told Meyer to walk around the corner to Patton Street because there was too much traffic on Eastern. In fact, Spencer wanted to get Meyer into a more secluded location with less street lighting for the robbery. Meyer followed the two around the corner where both drew their guns.

Spencer, standing just a few feet in front of Meyer, pointed his gun at Meyer and demanded all Meyer's money. Meyer apparently thought Spencer was joking and made no effort to hand over the money. Spencer repeated the demand at which time Meyer reached for the gun. Spencer then fired one shot striking Meyer in the abdomen. As Meyer stumbled back, Spencer began to run away without bothering to take Meyer's money. Rousseau also fled the scene and fired a shot at Meyer as he ran.

Covington Police received no calls for the gunshots but would later respond when a passerby reported a man laying face down on the sidewalk. Meyer was transported to the hospital by the Covington Fire Department but never regained a pulse. Detective Ron Wietholter was called to the scene. Other than two spent shell casings from different caliber weapons, Wietholter had little to go on. No witnesses could be located during a neighborhood canvass.  Several days later, a convicted felon who feared he was about to have his probation revoked called Covington Police and offered to provide information about the homicide.  

After contacting the Commonwealth's Attorney to confer about the status of the man's probation, Wietholter interviewed the man and learned he was a friend of Spencer's in whom Spencer had confided about the shooting and botched robbery. Wietholter had the man make a recorded phone call to Spencer. In the call, Spencer did not admit to the killing but made incriminating statements. The next day, Wietholter and other detectives intercepted Spencer on his way to school and brought him in for questioning. Spencer requested his mother's presence before answering questions. After she arrived at the police station, Spencer then admitted to killing Meyer but initially refused to name his accomplice. Eventually, when confronted by Wietholter with the name of Michael Rousseau, Spencer reluctantly admitted Wietholter was correct. Rousseau was next brought in for questioning but refused to make any statements. Both men were arrested and charged with Murder and Robbery.

Spencer's case was transferred from juvenile court for trial as an adult. Shortly thereafter, Spencer turned 18 years old. Spencer was indicted for Robbery and Murder by the Kenton County Grand Jury. With no evidence against Rousseau other than Spencer's word, Commonwealth's Attorney Rob Sanders chose not to present Rousseau's case to the Grand Jury. In the meantime, Rousseau returned to prison to serve the remainder of a previously imposed sentence for cocaine trafficking. Spencer's case wound through the judicial system until he eventually agreed to plead guilty and testify against Rousseau in exchange for a 25 year prison sentence. With the Spencer agreement in place Sanders could now proceed against Rousseau and that case went before the Grand Jury. Rousseau was also indicted for Robbery and Murder.

After viewing the discovery and evidence against him, Rousseau agreed to plead guilty to First Degree Robbery and Facilitation of Murder for his role in the killing and to serve 15 years. Both men were sentenced on January 14, 2013.  Kenton Circuit Judge Gregory Bartlett sentenced Spencer to 25 years in prison. Kenton Circuit Judge Patricia Summe sentenced Rousseau to 15 years in prison. The men will be eligible for parole in twenty years and thirteen years, respectively.

Source: This Week in Kenton Circuit Court

Photo: Stacey Spencer/Kenton Co. Detention Center