SUSPECT THREATENED TO THEN SHOOT MALE DRIVER, BUT WAS KNOCKED OUT OF BACK OF PICKUP TRUCK, FLED AWAY ON FOOT, LATER TOLD POLICE HE WAS ‘TRIPPING BAD’
JUNE 27, 2022 – written by WADE QUEEN
HE WAS OFFERED A FREE VEHICLE RIDE TRIP, AND THEN WENT ON THE ‘BAD KIND OF TRIP’; AND NEARLY MURDERED A COUPLE: JAMES S LESTER, 32, OF HURLEY, VIRGINIA; WAS ARRESTED OVER THE WEEKEND IN PIKE COUNTY AFTER HE BEGAN SHOOTING AT A MAN AND WOMAN FROM THE BACK OF THEIR PICKUP, SHORTLY AFTER THEY WERE GIVING HIM A RIDE
A southwestern Virginia man was arrested in Pike County, Kentucky; by the Kentucky State Police on Saturday, June 25, after troopers reported that he shot a woman.
According to the press release report, the Kentucky State Police Post 9, in Pikeville, KY.,received a 911 call regarding a shooting in the Freeburn area community of Pike County on late Saturday evening, June 25, 2022.
KSP troopers responded to State Highway 194 East, and when they arrived at the scene, they discovered one female had been shot. The initial investigation indicated that a man identified as James S. Lester, 32, of Hurley, Virginia; which is located in Buchanan County, Virginia; discharged a firearm, striking Pamela Owens.
According to the citation report, as they were conducted during their investigation, state police said two individuals, Cleatus Blankenship and Pamela Owens, were giving James Lester a ride in the back of their pickup truck.
During the ride, witnesses said James Lester began shouting that he was going to kill the both of them; after which he then drew a gun and began shooting through the back window, striking Pamela Owens in the head. Pamela Owens was transported to a nearby hospital to seek medical attention.
James Lester then held the gun to the back of Cleatus Blankenship’s head, but Mr. Blankenship then suddenly slammed on the brakes of the truck, and Lester ran away.
Police officers found James Lester less than an hour later, complaining to the officers that he was “tripping bad.”
As a result of the KSP troopers investigation, James S. Lester was charged with:
- ASSAULT, 1ST DEGREE; and
- WANTON ENGAGEMENT, 1ST DEGREE.
- James Lester was arrested and lodged in the Pike County Detention Center in Pikeville, where he is being held on without any bond.
KSP Post 9 trooper Zachary Burgess is leading the shooting investigation, and was assisted on scene by KSP personnel.