Three men have been arrested and charged with the murder of a local man found dead along Interstate 64 in Franklin County.
Charles Monroe, 30, of Frankfort was found dead a little after 9 a.m. Sunday on the shoulder of the eastbound ramp to I-64 off U.S. 127, Sheriff Pat Melton said.
Joshua Hammond, 31, was arrested in Franklin County, David Bruce II, 44, in Owen County and James Simons, 35, in Grant County, according to the sheriff's office. All three are charged with murder and robbery.
The murder stemmed from an alleged “drug deal gone bad,” Melton said this morning. The three men met Monroe in the Walmart parking lot on Leonardwood Drive to purchase prescription pills, Melton said.
Deputies identified the suspects after conducting interviews early in the investigation, Melton said. Deputies found Monroe after responding to a call about a dead body, Melton said. He declined further comment.
The interstate ramp was shut down for a few hours Sunday as deputies investigated. They also collected evidence from a second crime scene relating to the homicide down the road near the Kentucky River bridge, Melton said.
He declined to comment on what was found near the bridge.
Deputies closed a section of the eastbound lane near the bridge for about an hour to investigate, Melton said.
There were no abandoned vehicles found near the body, Melton said.
Monroe was charged with sexually abusing a child under 12 in March 2011. According to court records, Monroe molested the victim – a young girl – between Aug. 22, 2009 and June 15, 2010.
Monroe was also charged with intimidating a witness, after telling the girl not to tell anyone or she “would never be able to see her mother again,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Larry Cleveland told The State Journal last March.
Monroe was slated for jury trial in Franklin Circuit Court July 30 for the 2011 charges, according to the Kentucky Court of Justice website.
Hammond, Bruce and Simons are being held at Franklin County Regional Jail on $200,000 bonds, according to the jail website.
The investigation is ongoing, Melton says.