Kentucky accused of trying to kill officer sentenced to five years

Published 6:24 am Sunday, December 12, 2021

A Frankfort man accused of trying to kill a local police officer in late February was sentenced to five years on a slew of charges stemming from the incident in Franklin Circuit Court on Friday.

Stefan Lavon Harris, 41, entered an Alford plea to charges of possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, a Class C felony; third-degree assault, first-degree possession of a controlled substance and receiving stolen property (firearm), all Class D felonies; resisting arrest, first-degree disorderly conduct,  possession of drug paraphernalia and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, all Class A misdemeanors; and third-degree criminal mischief, a Class B misdemeanor.

Per the plea agreement, a charge of attempted murder (police officer), a Class B felony, was amended to first-degree wanton endangerment, a Class D felony.

According to court documents, Harris was on pretrial release in Shelby County when Frankfort Police responded to a 911 call regarding the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle at Marathon on Collins Lane. Officers said the owner of the car, who worked at the gas station, phoned police when Harris pulled into the parking lot in the vehicle.

Frankfort Police Sgt. Shane Music testified at a preliminary hearing in Franklin District Court that he made contact with Harris as he was walking toward the vehicle.

“I jumped out of the car and gave him an order to put his hands on his head,” FPD Sgt. Shane Music said. “When he stood up and looked up, he had that ‘oh no’ face.

“He started saying something to the effect of, ‘I didn’t steal’ something. I said we’re not here about that. Put your hands on your head.”

At that point, FPD Officer Austin King had arrived and the officers decided to handcuff and detain Harris while they investigated.
“When I said ‘cuff him,’ he pulled away and started to run,” Music said.

Music said he managed to grab Harris’ hoodie, and a scuffle ensued. Harris pulled a handgun from his waistband, and they began fighting for control of the weapon.

“At that time, I started striking the person to get him to drop the weapon,” Music said.

Once he did, King separated the magazine from the weapon, he said.

The physical altercation continued, though, and Harris allegedly pulled a second gun.

Music said he fell on top of Harris during the struggle.

“He has (the gun) stuffed in my abdomen and appears to be trying to manipulate the weapon,” Music said. “I reached around the barrel of the gun and pushed it to the side. It looked like he was trying to close his hands several times.”

At this point, Music stated that he drew his weapon.

“I pulled my service weapon and told him if he didn’t stop, I would shoot him,” Music said. Harris initially complied, but continued to struggle even after they attempted a choke hold. After a third officer arrived, Harris was arrested.

The second handgun never fired, though. Upon further investigation, someone had taped a flashlight to the gun, Music said. The tape prevented the weapon from cycling properly, and it did not eject a spent shell casing after it was fired previously.

Both weapons, he said, were loaded.

Music said a glass pipe, similar to those used to smoke methamphetamine, was found in the vehicle. In court documents, officers said Harris admitted to using meth prior to the incident.

Harris’ five-year sentence is to run concurrently but consecutive to that of his Shelby County case. He is ineligible for probation.