Murder victim faced threats before death - News, Weather & Sports

Murder victim faced threats before death

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Greg Sawyers (Source: LMDC) Greg Sawyers (Source: LMDC)
Ricky Kelly Ricky Kelly
Shanion Thurman (Source: WAVE 3 News Archives) Shanion Thurman (Source: WAVE 3 News Archives)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - We'll never know what role a Louisville man's testimony might have played in the federal murder case against Ricky Kelly because Greg Sawyers won't testify. He was murdered Saturday morning.

Police have not yet made an arrest in his death so it's impossible to say if his deal to testify in the Kelly trial was a factor.

WAVE 3 News did uncover that a second federal case for trying to tamper with a witness is set to go to trial next month. The witness was Sawyers.

In April 2010, Sawyers signed a deal to testify against Kelly that no one but his lawyers and prosecutors knew about. Just five days later, Sawyers was beat up in jail although no one can say who did the beating. One of the people charged in the federal witness tampering case, Shanion Thurman, worked at the public defender's office alongside Sawyers lawyer.

Thurman is accused of passing off information on his plea deal to Kelly's friend, Jimmy Robinson.

Then prosecutors say Robinson and Kelly talked on the phone about threats to Sawyers. Federal court papers reveal Robinson told Kelly he didn't know if Sawyers would make it. Then Robinson told Kelly about the beating behind bars.

Sawyers died Saturday at Clay Street and Broadway.

Kelly's attorney said Kelly remains behind bars and would have no way of being involved in Sawyers' death.

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