Butler is Ches’ stepfather, Ches pleads not guilty

By Drew Teague

UK’s executive vice president, who bailed out a UK student on $7,500 bond over Thanksgiving break, is his stepfather.

Kathy Johnson, UK spokeswoman, confirmed that Executive Vice President Frank Butler is the stepfather to Joseph Ches, the student who was arrested on Nov. 23 and charged with drunken driving and first-degree wanton endangerment.

Butler’s assistant deferred calls to UK Public Relations for comment. The Kernel did not receive comment from Ches in time for print.

At 12:37 a.m. on Nov. 23, Lexington Police responded to apartments at 201 Simpson Ave.

Lexington police arrested Ches, an undergraduate studies major and member of UK’s ROTC program.

“When officers got there they were met by two individuals who stated their roommate had become intoxicated and was pretty upset,” Lexington Police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said. “They were concerned because he owned several weapons.”

According to the police report, Ches said he had been drinking with his roommate and roommate’s girlfriend.

The roommate called the police, because he said Ches left the apartment and shot a gun several times into the air, then left the scene in a vehicle, Roberts said.

“They said [Ches] had actually exited the apartment and fired up [into the air] several shots with one of the weapons,” she said.

Roberts said police were getting a vehicle description and suspect description ready when Ches arrived back on scene and was arrested.

According to the police report, the vehicle Ches returned in had a bottle of champagne in it.

Ches told officers he was coming back from Nicholasville to go home, the report said.

The report indicated officers thought Ches’ eyes were bloodshot and watery, and he had slurred speech, was confused and was unsteady.

Ches was then transported to the Fayette County Detention Center. Ches refused a breathalyzer from officers, prompting his license to be suspended.

Two rifles from the vehicle Ches arrived at the scene in and several other weapons in the apartment were confiscated for evidence purposes, Roberts said.

On Wednesday Ches pleaded not guilty to the charges in Fayette County District Court, and his preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 13, 2011.