Spike in domestic homicides in Lexington

At least a dozen of the city’s 41 homicides have been domestic violence related.
WATCH | Several Lexington homicides linked to domestic violence
Published: Nov. 20, 2022 at 6:27 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It’s been a record-breaking year of homicides in Lexington. The city surpassed its previous homicide record of 37 back in October.

The record now sits at 41. At least a dozen of the city’s homicides in 2022 have been domestic violence related.

Among Lexington’s domestic homicides are the stabbings of 13-year-old Deon Williams and 5-year-old Skyler Williams. Police say their mother, Nikki James, stabbed the two children to death in May.

Just weeks later, the murders of Lisa, Bryony, and Bronwyn Wilson. According to police, Steven Wilson shot and killed his wife and two daughters in their home.

Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton shared her concerns about these statistics at a press conference in early November. “About one-third of our homicides in Lexington this year are related to domestic violence. Last year at this time, we had zero homicides related to domestic violence. This is a huge increase,” said Mayor Gorton.

“Those numbers really startled us and we tend to, at GreenHouse17 are responsive to intimate partner violence but we know that the impact of domestic violence and family violence can be far-reaching,” said associate director of GreenHouse17, Diane Fleet.

Earlier this month, Mayor Gorton announced a new program centered on stopping domestic violence in Lexington. ‘It’s Time Lexington’ has three phases focused on education, conversation, and action.

“We’re fortunate in Lexington to have a great community to have those lots of folks coming together,” said Diane Fleet. “We have a fatality review that will go back and look at cases to see if we can glean something from those, is there something that we missed, are there programs that we need to put in place or partnerships we need to create.”

Fleet explains that as we approach the holidays, people should watch for signs in their loved ones. Things like differences in the way people participate, if they’re isolating themselves, or withdrawing. It’s also important to watch for signs in those who cause harm such as requiring frequent check-ins and abusive, controlling, or misogynistic statements.