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Three charged, including two 19 year olds, in 2019 murder by Kentucky State Police

Samuel Payne (left) and Kendrick Bixler (right) mugshots, Damaja Hardy's mugshot was not...
Samuel Payne (left) and Kendrick Bixler (right) mugshots, Damaja Hardy's mugshot was not available.(Franklin County Detention Center)
Published: Jan. 8, 2021 at 7:39 AM CST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky State Police have charged three men in the 2019 slaying of a Franklin County man.

State police say 37-year-old Samuel Payne, 19-year-old Damaja Hardy, and 19-year-old Kendrick Bixler have each been charged with one count of murder.

Franklin County Sheriff’s deputies say they found 73-year-old Ronald Thornton suffering from life-threatening injuries in his home on Oct. 1, 2019. Deputies went to the home after a hang-up call was received.

Thornton was later pronounced dead at the scene.

A month later, a juvenile was charged with murder in Thornton’s death. It’s unclear whether Payne, Hardy or Bixler have attorneys who would comment on their behalf.

(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)