Not-guilty plea entered for suspect accused of killing Frankfort woman
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The man accused of shooting a Frankfort woman to death appeared before a judge via video on Tuesday.
Garten is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend, Margaret Smith, who had an emergency protective order against him. He went on the run for several days before he was arrested Friday after a standoff with police at a Lexington motel.
Garten is being held in the Shelby County Detention Center on a $500,000 bond.
Garten was taken into custody just after 10 a.m. Friday, after he threw a gun out of a motel room window. Lexington Police Lt. Andrew Dougherty said Garten surrendered.
"We ended it peacefully, he came out unharmed, and he dropped the weapons that he had," Dougherty said.
Police had been called to the Bryan Station Inn about 3 a.m. Friday near Bryan Station Road and North Limestone in Lexington. Police had said they were dealing with a suicidal person.
Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton was also on scene, since Garten is a suspect in the killing of Smith. Police say he admitted to shooting her on his Facebook page.
Melton said it was a matter of time before they caught up with Garten.
"I told you his time was running out yesterday," he said on Friday. "And due to making it hot, thanks to you all, we had his face everywhere, and it paid off."
Police evacuated motel guests in the middle of the night, as the Lexington Police Emergency Response Unit and the Crisis Negotiation Unit were called.
Garten was also the subject of a police standoff in Frankfort the previous day. It ended after seven hours, when police discovered Garten was not inside the home on Allnut Drive.
Franklin County deputies had already arrested 37-year-old Billy Turner last week in connection with the shooting death of Smith. Her body was found in a home on Meadow Glen Drive late on Monday, July 2. Turner was charged with complicity to commit murder.
Smith had several emergency protective orders against Garten, and she told friends she was worried about his violence.
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