Shively Police say two arrested in connection with Appleton Lane - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Shively Police say two arrested in connection with Appleton Lane homicide

Posted: Updated:
Dion Cummings (Source: Louisville Metro Corrections) Dion Cummings (Source: Louisville Metro Corrections)
Shane Van Williams (Source: Norfolk City Jail) Shane Van Williams (Source: Norfolk City Jail)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Shively Police say two people have been arrested in connection with a homicide that took place on Appleton Lane in August.

According to an arrest report obtained by WDRB News over the weekend, Dion Cummings, 23, has been charged with facilitation of murder and facilitation of robbery in connection with the shooting death of another man last month inside an apartment in Shively. A Shively Police officer says Cummings and another man planned to take heroin from the 34-year-old victim, Joseph Key, who met with Cummings and showed him the drugs.

"It was more of a situation where the suspects in this case knew the victim was holding an amount of heroin," explained Shively Police Sgt. Josh Myers at a press conference Monday. "And it was more of an attempt of robbery of those narcotics."

The paperwork goes on to say Cummings contacted the other male suspect via text message, and on the morning of Aug. 21, that man went to Key's apartment on Appleton Lane near Dixie Highway where "a struggle occurred" and the suspect "fired a single gunshot to the victim's head causing victim's death."

That arrest report says the three men involved "are known to each other as drug dealers." Sgt. Myers elaborated that the three were connected because Cummings' sister knew the victim.

In a press conference Monday, Myers said Cummings was arrested in the early morning hours on Saturday. He was arraigned Monday and pleaded not guilty. The judge ordered him to not contact the victim's family members and set bond at $250,000. Cummings is due back in Court Sept. 22.

The second suspect is 25-year-old Shane Van Williams. Sgt. Myers said police tracked Van Williams down in Norfolk, Virginia, where they believe Williams was hiding at an acquaintance's home. With the help of the Norfolk Police Department’s fugitive task force, Van Williams was arrested later in the day on Saturday.

"We use all technology that we possibly can to stay one step ahead of our suspects," said Myers. "And in this case, technology was certainly something that made his apprehension a whole lot easier."

Myers could not say if social media was the "technology" that helped them track Van Williams. But he said Shively officers traveled to Norfolk and did obtain some evidence but Van Williams did not provide a statement.

Van Williams is described by police as "likely the shooter of the victim." Myers explained both Van Williams and Cummings are charged with facilitation of murder and facilitation of robbery and that those charges "carry the same degree of penalty as being charged with murder." That means prosecutors don't have to prove which man shot Key.

Van Williams is being held in Virginia and is awaiting extradition back to Kentucky. Sgt. Myers said the paperwork is being done, but how long the extradition could take depends on if Van Williams agrees to or fights the process.

Shively police said the person who housed Van Williams could eventually face charges, but that will take police departments in both states to work together because that crime happened in the state of Virginia.

People in the apartment complex where the murder happened wanted to stay anonymous but said they were relieved about the arrests of Cummings and Van Williams. Sgt. Myers said people in the community reached out to the police department to try and help officers solve the case.

"We did get some tips," Myers said. "However, they weren't the tips that pointed us in the right direction. We certainly thank the public for calling us and letting us know any information they have. Even if it's the wrong information, we would rather have it than not have it."

Sgt. Myers said the department was proud of the tireless effort made by officers to make quick arrests.

"We can't bring a family member back," said Myers. "But knowing that justice is going to be served, that the killer is behind bars, we certainly hope that that will bring them a sense of closure."

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