Small Kentucky town stunned by local pastor's arrest - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Small Kentucky town stunned by local pastor's arrest

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BURNSIDE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Baptist pastor from south-central Kentucky is to be arraigned next week on murder and robbery charges.

Kenneth Keith is accused of gunning down three people at a Danville pawn shop.

The people who live in the small town that Keith serves are trying to come to grips with what's happened.

Main Street Baptist is the most visible church in Burnside. It's right in the middle of town. And right now, the town is stunned by the news about its pastor.

Now the doors to Main Street Baptist Church are closed and locked, as its pastor, Kenneth Allen Keith, sits in jail, accused of triple murder.

Police say he gunned down his former employee and church member Michael Hockensmith, Hockensmith's wife, Angela, and their business associate, Daniel Smith, at the pawn shop Keith once owned.

"They were very, very nice people," said Trudy Ursenbach, who owns a pet grooming shop across the street from Main Street Baptist Church.

She says Keith and his family used to bring stray dogs there.

When she saw Keith's picture in the local paper, she thought it was a mistake.

"He and his wife and his son would come in here and bring the dogs, you know. And they were just all wonderful people. For that to happen is just unbelievable. It has really shocked the community," said Ursenbach.

Don Thompson owns the local barber shop. He says he gave Keith a haircut the day before he was arrested.

"He was the first customer I had Tuesday morning when I came to work," he said.

Thompson described Keith as very outgoing and personable.

He says he and Keith would often talk about issues in Burnside, a tourist town along Lake Cumberland, but never anything that would remotely lead to murder.

"Knowing him the few years that I have, nothing that was ever said would indicate that this could possibly be happening," said Thompson.

"It just goes to show you just can't tell what's going on sometimes with people," said Ursenbach.

A member of the Keith family who would not give his name told WDRB that he would have no comment. But the rest of Burnside will be talking about this for years to come.

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