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Accused killer, police shooter had been placed on probation for prior felony

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 5:02 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The man suspected of killing a father of five and then shooting a police officer had violated his probation at the time of the shooting.

His probation officer, WAVE 3 News Troubleshooters uncovered, had requested a bench warrant after he was nowhere to be found.

Fred O’Bannon, a highway maintenance worker, died Friday after police say 25-year-old Keyshaun J. Stewart shot him through his car window while O’Bannon was sitting at a construction site on I-264.

According to reports, an off-duty LMPD Sergeant was also shot in the face and survived. Despite being severely injured, that officer still chased the suspect and fired, striking him. Stewart was still armed. He is still alive.

Stewart was already a convicted felon, who should not have been in possession to a gun.

Court records obtained by WAVE 3 News Troubleshooters show Stewart had been arrested in January 2018 and charged with burglary, possession of a controlled substance and criminal mischief.

According to that citation, police received a call about a burglary at a home in the area of Kenhurst and Barfield. Before arriving to the address, the officer spotted a vehicle which matched the description of the one involved in the burglary.

The citation state Stewart was seen by the officer loading a tall gun case into the back of the vehicle. When the officer approached, the suspects took off before crashing into a bush on Creston Drive.

They found property belonging to the victim in the vehicle the citation says.

Stewart was originally given a $5,000 bond at his arraignment.

In April 2019, Stewart entered a guilty plea to amended charges and received a five year sentence. However, Judge Olu Stevens opted to place him on five years of probation instead, without an objection from the prosecutor with the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.

“The Court finds, and is of the opinion, that the imposition of the sentence herein would have a deleterious and negative effect and serve no rehabilitative purpose,” the court order states. “It is hereby ordered that the rendition of the judgement of sentence is withheld and the defendant is placed on probation under the supervision of the Division of Probation and Parole for a period of 5 years,” Stevens wrote.

The agreement did not last long. In July 2020, according to Stewart’s probation documents, Stewart had failed to report to his probation officer.

“The officer has made numerous phone calls to Mr. Stewart’s last known phone number,” the probation officer wrote. “This officer has left messages for Mr. Stewart to call this officer. This officer still has not heard from Mr. Stewart as of this date.

The probation officer then asked for a bench warrant to be issued.

Judge Olu Stevens did not respond to a phone message.

Stewart is now charges with murder and the attempted murder of a police officer among other charges.

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