Monday, October 24, 2011

Riley Jane Lawrence & Claudia Wadlington

A Kentucky man accused of killing two young girls in a hit-and-run accident as he fled from police was wanted on at least three criminal warrants, police said after his arrest Saturday.

Keneille D. Finch, 26, was arrested early Saturday and charged with two counts of murder in connection with the accident. Finch was stopped for reckless driving a day earlier, but sped away when an officer approached the car, police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley said.

Calls to the Jefferson County jail to determine whether Finch had an attorney went unanswered Saturday.

When the officer pursued Finch, police said the suspect ran a red light and hit Riley Jane Lawrence, 4, and Claudia Wadlington, 5, who were walking with Wadlington's mother on Friday evening.

The mother, Angie Wadlington, had broken bones and will require surgery, police said.

A witness told The Courier-Journal newspaper that she saw the accident while working the drive-through at a nearby McDonald's. Andrea Kyer, 16, said they had been in the restaurant before they were hit.

"It's crazy. It's terrible, to come to work and see something like this," she said, as her eyes teared up.

Finch's Pontiac Grand Am was found abandoned about three blocks from where the girls were hit.

According to the arrest citation, Finch was wanted on at least three warrants on charges that included being a felon in possession of a handgun and carrying a concealed deadly weapon.

Kenielle Finch, who was traveling nearly 70 miles per hour when he struck and killed two White young girls in 2008 has been sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 20 years.

Judge Fred Cowan formally sentenced Kenielle Finch on Thursday. He wasn't able to legally impose the sentence the way the jury intended, but he had plenty of harsh words for the man who will spend a long time in prison.

Finch was convicted in December of murder in the deaths of 5-year-old Claudia Wadlington and 4-year-old Riley Lawrence, who were on their way to a swimming lesson.

On July 25, 2008, Finch was trying to get away from police in a Pontiac Grand Am when he struck and killed the girls as they were crossing the street at Floyd and Warnock on their way to a swimming lesson near the University of Louisville.

Expert witnesses testified that Finch was traveling at least 67 miles per hour when he hit the children, and said there was no evidence he ever hit the brakes.

"Through your totally selfish and reprehensible actions, you snuffed out the lives of two beautiful little girls, who will never get a chance to grow up and share joys with friends, to be a source of continuing love and affection for their mothers, their fathers, their families," said Cowan.

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