Cress pleads not guilty to murder

HAZARD—A not guilty plea was entered into the case of a man accused of murdering a Vicco woman after crashing his car, in which she was a passenger, into a cliff side nearly two years ago.

Ryan S. Cress, 31, of Jet, Ky., was indicted in March on one count of murder, a Class A felony, after a routine traffic stop in December 2013 turned into a fatal accident.

The Herald previously reported that Kentucky State Police (KSP) troopers had been patrolling KY Highway 80 in Hazard, just before the turn off to East Perry Elementary School, on the day in question. While patrolling, troopers encountered a 1997 Plymouth Breeze that was speeding in the area.

As troopers were turning to conduct a traffic stop, the car crossed the westbound lane of traffic and hit a rock cliff, according to a KSP press release.

The car flipped, and came to rest on the highway. Cress and 31-year-old passenger Deborah Ann Cress, of Vicco, sustained serious injuries, and were rushed to the Hazard ARH. Deborah Ann Cress was later pronounced dead.

Cress appeared in Perry County Circuit Court last week with his lawyer to enter a not guilty plea in the case.

Deborah Ann Cress’s mother was in attendance for the proceedings, but did not make a statement to the court.

Cress could face up to 50 years in prison if he is convicted. His trial is set for later this year. A $250,000 bond plus home incarceration had been set in the case.

Amelia Holliday can be reached at 606-436-5771, or on Twitter @HazardHerald.

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