By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
An off-duty police officer who was trying to help a neighbor found more than he expected when he conducted a search of his property.
What the Kentucky State Trooper found was a man hiding behind a shrub in his driveway after the man had reportedly been prowling around a neighbor’s home on April 24.
That prowler, 36-year-old Walter C. Nicholson of 156 Bill George Road in London, is now facing several felony charges and was one of the indictments returned by a Laurel grand jury on Friday.
Nicholson was indicted on charges of third-degree criminal trespassing, carrying a concealed deadly weapon, first-degree promoting contraband, public intoxication, first-degree possession of a controlled substance, and being a first-degree persistent felony offender.
The saga began when KSP Trooper Robbie Massey got a phone call just after 10 p.m. on April 24 that someone was prowling around a neighbor’s residence. According to the arrest report, Massey found Nicholson hiding behind a shrub in his driveway. Nicholson admitted to smoking marijuana and was unstable on his feet.
But Nicholson’s legal troubles had only just begun after Massey placed him under arrest. Once at the Laurel County Detention Center, Nicholson was told, if he had any illegal substances or items on his person, to surrender them voluntarily. However, when jail employees searched Nicholson, they discovered a large blade knife and approximately one gram of suspected methamphetamine on his person. This discovery prompted the felony charge of first-degree promoting contraband, carrying a concealed weapon and first-degree possession of a controlled substance.
Jail records indicate Nicholson has remained incarcerated since his arrest, under a $10,000 cash bond. Following the indictment on Friday, the bond remained the same and he was scheduled for his next court hearing on Aug. 26.
An indictment is an accusation only and does not imply guilt or innocence.