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Owen man gets 20 years for role in killing

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Two other suspects in death of Frankfort man scheduled for trial next year

By Molly Haines

An Owen County man could spend 20 years behind bars after accepting a plea deal in a 2012 murder case.
The formal sentencing was held Friday for David Bruce II, 44, one of three men involved in the death of Charles Monroe, a 30-year-old Frankfort man whose body was found dumped on the side of Interstate 64 in May 2012.
Bruce pleaded guilty to amended charges of second-degree robbery, second-degree assault, tampering with physical evidence and criminal facilitation to murder in June.
Bruce, along with Joshua Hammond, 31, also of Owen County and James Simons, 35, of Grant County, allegedly beat and strangled Monroe in what was described by law enforcement as a “drug deal gone bad.”
According to Commonwealth’s Attorney Larry Cleveland, the three men planned to rob Monroe after buying prescription drugs at the Walmart parking lot on Leonardwood Drive in Frankfort.
Monroe’s body was found along the Interstate 64 eastbound ramp at U.S. 127 on May 5, 2012.
Cleveland said he went over all of the details of Bruce’s plea deal with the Monroe family in June and explained why he felt a plea deal was necessary.
But one member of the Monroe family did not act “graciously” during Friday’s sentencing, Cleveland said.
According to the State-Journal, one member of the Monroe family shouted obscenities at Bruce, who wore a bulletproof vest, as he was escorted out of the courtroom.
Cleveland said Bruce would eventually be eligible for parole.
“I don’t know when he would be granted parole or if he would be granted parole, but he will be eligible at some point,” Cleveland said.
A joint trial for Hammond and Simons will be held in early January, according to Cleveland, who said Bruce would be testifying against the two as part of his plea deal.
Hammond is the son of Owen County Sheriff Zemer Hammond. Bruce is the brother of Owen County Jailer Cindy Walker and the son former Owen County Jailer David Bruce.