May 21, 2024

Four inmates previously held at a Kentucky prison have been indicted over an assault that left another inmate dead more than a year ago.

Michael Ford, Robert Smith, Spencer Horton and Jared Andrews all face charges related to an assault at Luther Luckett Correctional Complex that killed 50-year-old Clarence Roller Jr. in July 2022.

Ford, 48, was indicted in Oldham County Circuit Court earlier this month on charges of first-degree manslaughter, promoting contraband and being a persistent felony offender. At the time of the assault, Ford was serving out a life sentence on two counts of complicity to murder and two counts of kidnapping.

Ford’s indictment says he was charged with manslaughter for his intent to “cause serious physical injury to another person.” For the promoting contraband charge, Ford is alleged to have “possessed or obtained dangerous contraband.” The document does not detail specifics of the assault or the contraband Ford allegedly had.

Three other inmates were indicted in Oldham County and face a range of charges, according to court documents. Commonwealth’s Attorney Courtney Baxter could not comment on specifics of the case citing pending litigation, but did confirm indictments against the men were issued.

Smith, 44, faces charges of complicity to manslaughter, promoting contraband and being a persistent felony offender. His indictment alleges Smith solicited, commanded, or engaged in conspiracy with Ford in the “planning or commission” of the deadly assault on Roller. Smith was serving a sentence related to drug trafficking charges, according to court documents.

Horton, 25, is charged with tampering with physical evidence and being a persistent felony offender. His indictment says he “destroyed, mutilated, concealed, removed or altered physical evidence that he believed was about to be produced or used in the official proceeding…”

The indictment does not detail the evidence. Horton is serving a five-year sentence for an unlawful sex act with a minor under age 18, according to court documents.

Andrews – who was out of prison as of Monday – has an active warrant for his arrest. His indictment charges him with promoting contraband and being a persistent felony offender. He previously served a three-year sentence on burglary charges, according to court documents.

Horton is the only inmate who remains incarcerated at Luther Luckett.

Roller had been imprisoned at the facility since 2011, when he was convicted of three counts of first-degree sexual abuse, first-degree sexual abuse of a minor under age 12, first-degree sodomy and first-degree sodomy of a victim under the age of 12.

Roller died from complications of diffuse traumatic brain injury as a result of the attack, according to Jefferson County Coroner Barbara Weakley-Jones. She said her office arrived at the University of Louisville Hospital on July 18, more than a month after the assault, in response to Roller’s death.

The Herald-Leader learned of Roller’s death four months later, and Kentucky State Police would not confirm his death, or release information about suspects.

KSP Sgt. Matt Sudduth confirmed the cases were presented to a grand jury Sept. 8. He declined to comment on specifics of the case.

“Timelines to complete investigations vary based on the complexity of the case,” Sudduth said Monday afternoon. “As this is an ongoing investigation, specific details regarding the incident and the investigation are not available for release at this time.”

Luther Luckett is a medium/maximum security prison in Oldham County that opened in 1981 and housed 1,200 inmates, according to the state corrections website.

All four suspects are expected to be arraigned Sept. 28.

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