March trial date set for suspect in drive-by

Published 11:58 am Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A drive-by shooting suspect who lives in a home where his 4-year-old nephew was injured in another drive-by shooting will stand trial in March on weapons charges.

Kevin Buck, 26, 20 Water Well Road, appeared before Circuit Court Judge Isadore Patrick Friday to be arraigned after an indictment by the May term of the Warren County grand jury for possession of a stolen firearm and possession of a firearm by a felon. The file was made public Tuesday.

Buck entered a plea of not guilty, and Patrick set a trial for March 18.

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Since March 27, Buck has been held without bail after police arrested him in front of the home of a drive-by shooting victim who witnessed the shooting in which Buck is a suspect.

Buck is accused of shooting Terry Smith, 22, 210 Winters Lane, in the back on March 1 in the 400 block of Ford Road in Kings.

Buck was arrested March 16 at his home and charged with aggravated assault, shooting into an occupied vehicle and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. He posted a $15,000 bail and was released.

On March 25, Buck abandoned his Oldsmobile Cutlass after a traffic stop, police Capt. Bobby Stewart said. A .380-caliber pistol was found near the vehicle, and a .38-caliber Smith and Wesson pistol reported stolen from a car at Walmart on Sept. 28 was found in the car, Stewart said.

Buck was convicted of robbery and armed robbery in 2002, according to court records.

On March 27, 24 shots were fired into the home of John Jones, 413 Ford Road. Jones, who has said he heard the March 1 shooting but saw nothing, was the only person at home on the block when Smith was shot.

Buck was arrested later in the day on a warrant for weapon possession after he drove by Jones’ home while officers investigated the shooting. Buck was questioned in the March 27 drive-by but has not been charged.

The March 1 shooting and two other drive-by shootings are expected to be presented to the July term of the grand jury, Assistant District Attorney Lane Campbell said.

“Those cases are still under investigation,” Campbell said.

Buck’s case was just one of the shooting cases that had been expected to be presented to the Warren County grand jury that finished a weeklong session May 11.

In the case in which Buck’s nephew was injured, the suspect’s arrest came too close to the session, and prosecutors said they need more time for investigations.

John Phillip Hart, 24, 1408 Sherman Ave., is accused of a drive-by shooting on Jan. 6 that injured 4-year-old Arkeevian Warfield at 20 Water Well Road in Kings. Arkeevian was treated at University Medical Center and released Jan. 8. At the time of the shooting, police estimated that 17 people were living in the house.

Police have said the March 1 and Jan. 6 shootings are not related.

Hart was on the lam until March 29 when he was arrested at 625 Hart Drive and charged with aggravated assault, shooting into an occupied dwelling and 16 counts of aggravated assault. Since his arrest, he has been in the Warren County Jail in lieu of $275,000 bail.

In another drive-by shooting, Eric Wallace, 30, 7160 Warriors Trail, is accused of firing a gun March 31 at LD’s on Mulberry Street. A car was struck by a bullet, but no one was injured in that shooting. Wallace, who is confined to a wheelchair because he was the victim of a drive-by shooting, has been held without bail since his arrest. The shooting was the 19th gun-related crime since 2005 in which Wallace has been a suspect, police Chief Walter Armstrong said. The Wallace case also remained under investigation when the grand jury met, Campbell said.