Shively, KY – Christmas came early for an accused drug dealer who opened fire on a group of officers, striking one several times. After Kenneth Probus accepted a plea deal to 7 years in prison for the attempted murders, the judge all but eliminated his sentence.
In January 2016, Kenneth Probus, 53, was at his home where detectives were serving a search warrant for drug dealing. Officers knocked and announced and Probus Barricaded himself in his bedroom. When officers kicked down his door, Probus opened fire, striking Detective Wes Singleton thee times. One of the bullets struck Singleton’s badge on his chest, and the other two struck each of his legs.
Detective Singleton returned fire, striking Probus.
Detective Singleton survived after multiple surgeries and seven months of physical therapy.
In January 2017, Kenneth Probus agreed to a plea deal where he would be sentenced to seven years in prison on a charge of assault third-degree. In exchange for his plea, charges of methamphetamine trafficking, possession of drug paraphernalia, three counts of criminal attempted murder, and three counts of wanton endangerment were dropped.
Many were disappointed that a would-be cop-killer only got seven years in prison. At the time of his sentencing, Shively Police Department spokesman Josh Myers said, “I don’t want people to lose focus on the fact of how many years he’s gotten as opposed to what he could have gotten. This is an agreement. We are 100 percent behind it. We see it as a victory. It’s a conviction.”
As part of the deal, Probus agreed that he wouldn’t ask for parole, but he could request shock probation.
Shock probation is usually offered to young, first-time offenders. The offender is generally jailed for a very short period of time in hopes that the shock of seeing what jail is like will be enough to keep them from re-offending. Shock probation had never been approved for a 53 year old accused drug dealer who opened fire on police officers.
Detective Singleton spoke in court, requesting that Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman not allow Probus’s release. The detective showed his mangled badge to the judge and said, “As I look at this badge, I can’t help but think that the bullet that struck this badge was meant to take my life.”
After only a few weeks of Kenneth Probus being in jail, Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman approved shock probation for Probus.
Probus will be released from jail at the end of the month to spend 90 days on home monitoring.
This judge sent a clear message to the law enforcement officers of Shively: You don’t matter.