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Driver in fatal wreck had warrant for arrest

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Kyle Thompson avoided police for almost six months

By Gina Clear

Police had been searching six months for Kyle Thompson before he was involved in a fatal car crash June 3.

Thompson had three children in a minivan and crashed into a car on Ky. 313, killing Ashlee Berry, 22, and injuring the children and himself.

Thompson, who is in custody in lieu of a $1 million cash bond, remains under 24-hour watch at University Hospital in Louisville. Listed in fair condition, he remains hospitalized with several broken bones from the crash and police say his injuries require surgery.

According to court records, an affidavit to revoke Thompson’s probation for failure to comply with drug screening and absconding probation supervision was filed Jan. 8, 2014, in Hardin Circuit Court and a warrant for his arrest was issued.

According to the affidavit to revoke Thompson’s probation, he was asked Jan. 2 to submit to a drug test at the Probation and Parole office.

Thompson, 24, told the officer he was unable to produce a sample at that time and was told to sit in the lobby until able to do so. When the officer returned to the lobby, Thompson had left and calls to his last known number were left unreturned.

Then on Jan. 3, Thompson was not at his residence for a home visit at his last known address. A note was left for Thompson to call, the affidavit said.

The officer went to Wendy’s in Radcliff, where Thompson was employed, and the manager said he no longer worked there because of unexpected absences. The officer then went to Waffle House, where Thompson said he had applied for a job, but the manager said he had yet to be interviewed, the document said.

The officer also cal­led Hardin County Detention Center and Hardin Memorial Hospital in his search with no success.

According to Har­din County Sheriff Charlie Williams, deputies attempted to serve Thompson’s warrant at every known address for the man, but were unable to locate him because he was no longer at those addresses.

“All of our known addresses did not pan out,” he said. “You look everywhere you know to look. It’s a proverbial needle in a haystack. No one knows where he’s been between January and a week ago.

“My guys work in Radcliff every day serving warrants,” Williams continued. “They go as far as the information can take them. We do the best we can with the information we have and the deputies try hard at it.”

Williams said it also is protocol to check to see if suspects have left a forwarding address at the post office.

When deputies are unable to serve a warrant, he said the warrant information is entered into a national database accessible by all law enforcement agencies across the country and an electronic warrant system accessible to Kentucky law enforcement.

For officers with computers in their vehicle, if they come across a suspect in a traffic stop or at another incident, they easily can see if a person is wanted, Williams said. If they don’t have computers at their disposal, usually dispatchers can access the information for the officer, he said.

“He avoided activity that would raise suspicion,” Williams said. “He was good at laying low.”

Thompson has been noncompliant from registering with the sex offender registry from a case in 2010 when he was found guilty of attempted kidnapping of a minor after he brought a gun to the parking lot of North Hardin High School. He was sentenced to five years, three years to serve and two years were probated.

He was arrested Oct. 18, 2010, and was released under supervised probation Sept. 2, 2012.

A show cause hearing to discuss the probation violation for that case is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. June 24 at the Hardin County Justice Center.

Thomp­son has been indicted on charges of first-degree fleeing and evading police-motor vehicle and three counts of first-degree assault, terroristic threatening and second-degree persistent felony offender. All charges are for his involvement in a crash June 3 that left Berry dead and three children hospitalized.

Two of the children have been released from Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville and the youngest was listed in fair condition at last report.

Murder is a Class A felony punishable by 20 to 50 years to life in prison and first-degree assault is a Class B felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison for each count.

Berry was returning home from work in Louisville when her Jeep was struck by Thompson’s van. She was engaged to a soldier stationed at Fort Knox and had moved to the area from Las Vegas, Nevada, officials said.

Police said Thompson kidnapped the three children and their mother at knifepoint. The two older children, ages 4 and 5, are the children of Spc. Nathaniel D. Garvin, a U.S. Army soldier from Vine Grove who died in Afghanistan in July 2010.

When the vehicle stopped in the 3000 block of Wooldridge Ferry Road, the mother escaped the van and called Kentucky State Police.

While KSP was at the home, Thompson drove down the road and a KSP trooper followed the vehicle and activated his emergency lights. Police said Thompson turned off Wooldridge Ferry Road onto Joe Prather Highway and a short time later, crossed the center line and struck Berry’s vehicle.

The youngest child was ejected from the van and found several feet away from the vehicle, police said.

Berry was pronounced dead at the scene.

Thompson is under arrest for failing to comply with the sex offender registry. Arraignment has not been scheduled.

An investigation into the crash is ongoing, KSP Post 4 spokesman Jeff Gregory said. He said findings of the investigation will not be released because of the pending criminal case.

Gina Clear can be reached at 270-505-1746 or gclear@thenewsenterprise.com.