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Prosecutors file motion to pursue death penalty in Allen killing

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Suspect accused of suffocating 28-year-old

By Sarah Bennett

Prosecutors in the case against Abdullah White, a Radcliff man charged in the killing of a Buffalo woman nearly 11 months ago, have filed a motion to pursue the death penalty.

In a motion filed Nov. 15, the LaRue County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office laid out three aggravating circumstances to pursue the death penalty in the case.

According to Kentucky State Police, White suffocated Kristie L. Allen, 28, on Dec. 30 in a Buffalo residence where she was house-sitting while he and his co-defendant, Samantha J. Kolley, were committing a burglary.

Pursuant to Kentucky Revised Statute 532.025, the commonwealth cited three aggravating circumstances in its motion:

  •  White has a prior conviction for murder, a capital offense.
  • The defendant has a “substantial history of serious assaultive criminal convictions.”
  • White allegedly committed the offense while he was in engaged in first-degree burglary.

According to the motion the prosecutors seek death, life imprisonment without the possibility of probation or parole, life imprisonment without the possibility of probation and parole until White has served 25 years of his sentence, or a sentence of 20 to 50 years or life imprisonment.

A pretrial conference is set in the case for Jan. 25 in LaRue Circuit Court at which time there will be a hearing on the motion, said Whitney Meredith, assistant commonwealth’s attorney.

According to Hardin County court records, White pleaded guilty in 1996 to complicity to commit murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree burglary, complicity to commit theft by unlawful taking more than $300 and second-degree unlawful transaction with a minor. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

The charges stem from a 1995 incident during which White and six teens were interrupted in an attempt to steal from a Radcliff home, according to court documents. A neighbor, Gary Gilbert, caught the teens and was killed.

According to a police citation, White shot Gilbert once with a shotgun stolen during a burglary at Hillcrest Drive in Radcliff and admitted the shooting in statements made to a detective.

White served 12 years, 11 months and 15 days of his sentence before being released May 1, 2008, according to the Department of Corrections.

Todd Henson, DOC spokesman, previously told The News-Enterprise that White received statutory and meritorious good time credits and completed two educational credits, which contributed to his early release.

At the time of his Jan. 4 arrest, officials said White also was wanted in Tennessee for probation violations in connection to felony drug charges.

White is lodged at LaRue County Detention Center in lieu of a $2 million cash bond.

The LaRue County grand jury has indicted him on 13 felony charges: murder, first-degree burglary and complicity, second-degree burglary, theft by unlawful taking — automobile and complicity, two counts each of tampering with physical evidence and complicity, receiving stolen property and complicity, and first-degree persistent felony offense.

A jury trial date has not been set at this time, but Meredith said she anticipates scheduling a trial during the Jan. 25 conference at which time White will have been lodged at the LaRue County jail for more than a year.

Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or sbennett@thenewsenterprise.com.