The newspaper article posted below was published in the Bowling Green (Ky) Daily News today about a murder that happened four years-ago at the Ramada Inn, one of Bowling Green's oldest hotels on Scottsville Road. Of course, the hotel has changed hands several times through the years as well has been remodeled a couple times too. But to me, this was a strangely bazaar murder case that happened right here in Bowling Green. It's just weird that a now convicted killer stalked another man who was a guest at the hotel. Originally, the killer found the guest at the hotel's bar knowing that the guest had a wallet full of cash and then went to the front desk to get the guest's room number. And then the desk clerk gave him the room number! After the killer got the guest's room number, he knocked on the his door and as the guest opened the door, the killer barged his way in and strangled the guest to death and then took his cash. And to top it off, the hotel's video camera's recorded the killer in the lobby and the halls of the hotel as he walked to the guest's room. Complete wacko nuts for real! What was that crazy, stupid idiot thinking?!!!
GLASGOW MAN PLEADS GUILTY IN MURDER AT HOTEL
By JUSTIN STORY, The Daily News, firstname.lastname@example.org/783-3256
Murder suspect Troy Lee Rupe admitted Tuesday to killing and robbing a man in a Bowling Green hotel room four years ago.
Rupe, 50, of Glasgow, entered a guilty plea in Warren Circuit Court to murder and first-degree robbery, acknowledging his role in the death of Thomas L. Ward.
Ward, 38, of Glasgow, was found dead April 13, 2008, in a room at the Ramada Inn at 4767 Scottsville Road. An investigation determined that Ward had been beaten and strangled.
Appearing with his attorneys, Renae Tuck and Eric Clark of the Department of Public Advocacy, Rupe spoke with a slight rasp while answering questions from Warren Circuit Judge Steve Wilson.
Rupe has been sick from cancer, and his graying hair, glasses and thin frame gave him a much different appearance Tuesday than how he looked in his Warren County Regional Jail booking photo taken in 2008 when he was charged with the crimes.
“I just want to apologize to the family. I’m sorry for the loss of their loved one,” Rupe said Tuesday.
About 10 of Ward’s relatives were in the courtroom to hear Rupe admit guilt.
Ward’s mother, Mary Brooks, read a short statement describing the effect her son’s death has had on the family, calling the date of her son’s death “the worst day of our lives.”
“The emptiness you have left in our family will never be gotten over,” Brooks said while addressing Rupe, her voice rising as she struggled to avoid crying. “You took the most precious thing that God gives – life.”
The Bowling Green Police Department led the investigation into Ward’s death, viewing hotel surveillance video footage from the Ramada Inn taken on the night of the homicide that showed Rupe following Ward.
The footage was aired on television the following day, and several people called the BGPD identifying Rupe as the man following Ward.
Rupe himself called the police after the footage aired, came to Bowling Green to be interviewed by detectives and was charged with the crimes.
During the investigation, police found money in Rupe’s Glasgow home that was alleged to have been taken from Ward.
Wilson sentenced Rupe on Tuesday to 21 years and six months in prison. The plea agreement that Rupe, who had been scheduled to go to trial next month, reached with Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Cohron recommended that amount of time to be served on the murder charge and a 20-year sentence for robbery, with both of those sentences to be served concurrently.
Additional charges of tampering with physical evidence and first-degree persistent felony offender were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
Because the murder was committed during the course of another violent crime, Rupe could have been eligible for the death penalty, but Cohron filed notice after Rupe’s indictment that he sought a maximum sentence of life without parole.
Rupe will get credit for the time he has served in custody and must serve 18 years and three months of his sentence before he can be considered for parole.