A Bowling Green man who was arrested following a shooting at O’Charley’s that left two men dead had come to the restaurant after being contacted by the daughter of one of the victims, a detective testified Wednesday.
The case against Terry A. Stice II, 44, who is charged with two counts of attempted murder and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, was sent to the grand jury following a preliminary hearing before Warren District Judge Sam Potter.
The incident Friday night left Elijsha Taylor, 21, and Michael Russell, 40, dead from gunshot wounds. The Bowling Green Police Department believes Taylor shot Russell in the parking lot of the Scottsville Road restaurant and then Stice fatally shot Taylor before firing multiple rounds at an SUV that left the scene.
Russell was conscious when police arrived at the parking lot but died Saturday at an area hospital.
BGPD Detective Eric Stroud testified Wednesday that the conflict began inside the restaurant when Russell’s daughter, Paige Russell, saw a male named Nick Robey sitting in a booth near her seat at the bar.
Stroud testified that Paige Russell believed Robey had been involved in a robbery about a year ago in which she was the victim, an incident that Stroud said was not reported to law enforcement at the time.
After seeing Robey, Paige Russell notified her father and Stice, who came to O’Charley’s.
After arriving there, Stice reportedly approached Robey, who was sitting in a booth with Kayla Penny, and asked him if he remembered the woman sitting at the bar, to which Robey responded he didn’t, Stroud said.
Paige Russell later approached the booth and asked Robey if he remembered her, and Robey again said that he did not remember.
“She then said words to the effect of, ‘Tonight, you’re going to remember me,’ ” Stroud said.
Robey then contacted Taylor, with Stroud testifying that Robey informed Taylor of the situation and believed a confrontation was going to occur. Robey asked Taylor to come to Bowling Green from Franklin.
“I don’t know if (Robey) requested Taylor to bring a gun or not,” Stroud said during questioning in court.
In the parking lot, Taylor shot Michael Russell, and then Stice shot Taylor, striking him three times, Stroud said.
Stice told police that an SUV struck him and knocked him to the ground during the incident and he fired multiple rounds at the vehicle, shattering the back window.
Police found at least 12 spent rounds at the scene and Taylor’s gun was found next to his body, Stroud said.
The SUV, which was carrying Robey and Penny, returned to the scene that night. No weapons were found in the vehicle, Stroud said.
“Robey said he was being shot at and he was scared as his reasons for leaving,” Stroud said.
Police became aware of Stice as a person of interest after speaking with members of Russell’s family.
Stice described being hit by the SUV and firing at the vehicle, and he was arrested Saturday.
During an interview, Stice claimed to have thrown the gun into a field on Three Springs Road, but Stroud said investigators were unable to find the weapon in the location described by Stice.
On Sunday, police interviewed Stice at Warren County Regional Jail and Stice said he knew where the gun was and he would provide it to police if he could be released from jail on a surety bond, Stroud said. The detective replied that any bond decision would not be up to him.
Police are continuing to examine forensic evidence and attempting to obtain surveillance video footage from the area as part of their investigation, and more charges may be filed.
It’s the type of news that can be devastating, but for one Bowling Green couple it has been a spur to activity.
Ashley and Casey Brindley, when doctors told them three years ago that their daughter had a rare form of mitochondrial disease for which there’s no treatment, chose to get busy helping find one.
“I’m the type of person who can’t let go,” Ashley Brindley said, explaining why she is now president of a foundation dedicated to finding a cure for a disease called Hereditary Motor and Sensory Neuropathy Type VIB.
She and her husband created the Hadley Jo Foundation, named for their daughter who is now in kindergarten and dealing with a disease that affects the mitochondria organelles within cells that are responsible for creating most of the energy needed to sustain life and support organ function.
In Hadley Jo’s case, the disease caused a delay in gross motor skills and affected her vision.
Told that there was no cure and that the disease is degenerative, the Brindleys went into action. Visits to various doctors eventually led them to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where they found the impetus to create the foundation.
They met Dr. Taosheng Huang, director of that hospital’s Program of Mitochondrial Medicine, and Ashley Brindley said he inspired her to start the nonprofit.
“He discovered the disease and was doing research to find a treatment,” she said. “That was the first time we had some hope.
“Dr. Huang and I started talking about things, and he told me about a lady in California who started a foundation 10 years ago. They got so much funding that they found a treatment for her daughter.”
Following that example, the Brindleys launched their foundation last March and have since raised more than $80,000 for research being done at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
“We fundraised and fundraised,” Ashley Brindley said. “It’s like I have three full-time jobs now: my full-time work (at Camping World headquarters on Three Springs Road), being a mom and running the foundation.”
She said a barbecue event at Bowling Green Municipal Utilities raised $18,000 and a music and dinner event at The Venue raised another $15,000.
“The response from people in the community has been absolutely amazing,” Ashley Brindley said.
“I never would’ve thought it would get this big so quickly,” Casey Brindley said. “It’s pretty amazing what Ashley has done.”
Casey Brindley, who works at BGMU, said learning about the research being done by Huang took the couple “from no hope to a lot of hope.”
Huang has published four papers about mitochondrial diseases and possible treatments, and his experiments using mice have shown enough promise that he is considering doing clinical trials on humans.
The money provided by the Hadley Jo Foundation can help him realize that goal, Huang said.
“That family is wonderful, and they’ve done an outstanding job with the foundation,” he said. “I’m applying for grant funding to possibly do the clinical trials. This funding (from the Hadley Jo Foundation) is very important and will allow us to continue working on the mouse model while we wait on other funding.”
Ashley Brindley said Hadley Jo has adapted well to kindergarten, where she gets physical therapy, vision therapy and speech therapy; but she holds out hope that the day is coming when her daughter won’t need such adaptations.
“They are so close to a treatment,” she said. “They’ve made a lot of progress using treatments on mice.”
To help spur more progress, the Brindleys are looking to raise at least as much money this year as they raised in 2019.
“We hope to do even better this year,” Casey Brindley said. “The money helps so much.”
“We have a lot of big events planned,” Ashley Brindley said. “The research will help Hadley Jo’s disease and other mitochondrial diseases as well.”
She said 100 percent of the funds raised by the Hadley Jo Foundation will go toward finding a treatment and cure.
– More information about the foundation and upcoming fundraisers can be found at the hadleyjofoundation.org website.
With state lawmakers once again introducing bills that would create tax credits for donations to private school scholarship programs, local school district leaders are calling the measures counterproductive.
“This bill, to me, serves as a distraction,” Bowling Green Independent School District Superintendent Gary Fields told the Daily News.
Fields reacted to Senate Bill 110, which was introduced Friday by Sen. Ralph Alvarado, R-Winchester. Identical legislation – House Bill 350 – was introduced by Rep. Chad McCoy, R-Bardstown.
Fields said the move should not be a priority with rollbacks to K-12 funding cuts on the line during this year’s legislative session. Following a budget proposal from Gov. Andy Beshear earlier this week, lawmakers will set to work crafting a two-year state budget this session.
Warren County Public Schools Superintendent Rob Clayton, who leads the state’s fourth-largest school district, shares a similar view. Clayton questioned how lawmakers could support legislation “that would further reduce the path available to adequately cover the true cost of educating our kids.”
“It’s no secret that we have a revenue shortage and are unable to fund the current demands of educating our students,” Clayton said.
Senate Bill 110’s stated aim is to help send more low-income, middle-income and foster children to private schools, along with ensuring that “more students with special needs in the Commonwealth have access to the classroom or qualified special educational services that work best for their unique needs.”
To qualify for a scholarship, students would have to come from a household earning no more than 200 percent of the income needed to receive federal reduced-price meals in a public school. Students would also be eligible if they’ve previously received a scholarship under the program, come from a household with a student already benefiting from the program or if they’re in foster care.
Public education advocates fought back against a similar measure in 2019. In news conferences held across Kentucky last spring, school district superintendents argued that such tax credits would drain public schools of per-pupil funding and hurt their most vulnerable students. They cited state budget cuts to funding for textbooks, teacher training and no support for full-day kindergarten programs. Shortly afterward, the measure stalled and never moved forward.
Echoing last year’s bill, Senate Bill 110 would earmark up to $25 million for donors to private school scholarship programs. Donors could be credited for 95 percent or $1 million for their contributions.
On Monday, as school choice supporters rallied at Kentucky’s Capitol to support the bill, Alvarado said scholarship tax credits would open doors for students from less fortunate families.
“Scholarship tax credits will unlock the world of opportunities for kids who currently find themselves on the outside of the best schools looking in,” Alvarado said, according to The Associated Press.
Senate Bill 110 has been forwarded to the chamber’s standing committee for appropriations and revenue. Its companion bill in the House was assigned to a similar committee.