Man accused of killing Ky. law enforcement officers indicted
FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - UPDATE: Lance Storz made a brief court appearance Tuesday morning in Floyd Circuit Court via video link from the jail. The judge set an arraignment date for August 1 at 1 p.m. and ordered Storz held without bond until then.
MORE: The man accused of murdering three law enforcement officers, a police K-9 and injuring several others in Floyd County has been indicted by a grand jury.
Lance Storz was originally scheduled to appear in Floyd County District Court at 1:30 p.m. Monday for a preliminary hearing. Instead, an indictment was handed down, with Storz facing 20 charges.
The charges listed in the indictment include three counts of murder, six counts of attempted murder, two counts of assault, seven counts of wanton endangerment, assault on a service animal, and assault in the fourth degree, fourth offense domestic violence.
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State police said officers went on June 30 to execute an emergency protective order when Storz began firing a high-powered rifle at law enforcement in a shootout that lasted several hours.
After the judge announced the indictment to the court, Commonwealth’s Attorney Brent Turner spoke about what comes next, including weighing the options for the death penalty, should Storz be convicted.
“And we will consider that and go through the process that we always go through and make a decision based on the evidence and discussions with the family,” Turner said. “We’re not going to rush off and make a decision on that any different than we would any other case, even though I understand the public sentiment and the desire of many people to hear something on that. We have to do it by the book and that’s what we’re going to do.”
Turner says the case is not as open and shut as the public may think, saying there is a mountain of evidence to still tp go through. Meanwhile, County Attorney Keith Bartley doesn’t mince words when he’s asked his thoughts on Storz’s guilt and if he should get the death penalty.
“Obviously, over the last week, you all know that I’m more than willing to speak out on that regard and with everything in me believe that Mr. Storz is a case that has earned the death penalty,” Bartley said.
Bartley was at the scene on June 30 as investigators say officers were ambushed by Storz. It’s a nightmare Bartley will never forget.
“I was in the mix of all of the gunfire and saw a lot of people who were trying to help others, saw a lot of people who were trying not to get shot, including myself,” Bartley said.
Four other officers and a civilian were injured in the shooting. Two of those officers lost an eye, and another has a serious leg injury. Bartley didn’t want to go into too much detail about their condition, but he says Deputy Darrin Lawson is still in the hospital for his leg.
Without the death penalty, Storz still faces life in prison without parole if he is convicted.
Storz’s first court appearance was July 1, in which a not guilty plea was entered on his behalf.
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