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No probation for man implicated in friend's shooting death

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Judge: Fast charged with unrelated crimes as his case moved through the court system

The sentencing Monday of Joshua Fast of Crestwood has closed a sad chapter in the life of a Shelbyville family whose son was shot and killed on Brown Avenue nearly three years ago.
Shelby County Circuit Judge Chuck Hickman sentenced Fast to 10 years in prison, 5 each for reckless homicide and second-degree burglary for his participation in the events surrounding the death of David Fletcher of Shelbyville.
“After David died, Josh went right back to Oldham County, and got into more trouble; I can’t believe that he messed up his chance like that,” said Laura Fletcher of Shelbyville, whose son was killed by his roommate who mistook him for an intruder trying to break into the house while Fast and another man from Oldham, Timothy Carpenter, waited in a truck outside.
In December Fletcher had delivered to the court a touching plea for leniency on behalf of Fast and Carpenter, who were attempting to drive the mortally wounded Fletcher to the hospital when he died in their truck.
Carpenter was granted probation because of Fletcher’s request, but it was a different story for Fast, who has since been charged with burglary in Oldham County and has been incarcerated there, which delayed his sentencing on numerous occasions.
Fast and Carpenter, both 25, originally had been charged with second-degree manslaughter and second-degree burglary but had entered into a plea agreement with the commonwealth’s attorney to accept the lesser charge of reckless homicide.
 The burglary charge remained. Hickman said after his ruling Monday that he did not grant probation to Fast, as he had to Carpenter, because after they made bail after the shooting, Fast committed a burglary in Oldham County.
 “That signals to me that you are not a very good candidate for probation,” Hickman told Fast.
The judge’s sentence came after a statement from Fast’s attorney, Oldham County public defender Ashley Bailey, who told the court that Fast has a great work history, is interested in starting his own business and is devoted to his fiancé and young daughter.
“He has every intention, if he is released, of going to work to support his family, and I believe he is capable of giving back to the community,” she said.
Fast, who stood quietly in front of the judge, said nothing as Bailey expressed her belief that he was “an excellent candidate for probation.”
He showed little emotion at the judge’s decision and made no comment on his behalf.
Fletcher was shot and killed around midnight in October 2008 by his roommate, Eric Reynolds, who told police he thought Fletcher was an intruder trying to break into the house.
Fast and Carpenter were waiting outside the house in a pickup truck and had driven Fletcher to the house to get some of his things because he was moving out.
When Fletcher broke out a window to enter the house because he had forgotten his key, Reynolds shot him.
He has not been charged in the death.
Laura Fletcher said Monday that she had intervened on the behalf of Fast and Carpenter  because they were her son’s friends, and she didn’t think they had ever meant for any harm to come to her son and that she didn’t think they should have to bear the full brunt of the tragedy.
She said she wasn’t surprised at Hickman’s decision, but she was very saddened because she went to bat for Fast, who did not appear to appreciate what she tried to do for him.
“My whole reason in talking to the commonwealth attorney for them was I wanted them to get a second chance and to take that opportunity to do the right thing, and Josh did not do that,” she said.
Fletcher said as far as closure is concerned, the matter has now been dealt with in court, and she has done what she could for her son’s friends, but the memory of her only child and their last conversation lives on in her heart everyday. “
I talked to him that morning, and I thank God that the last words we said to each other were ‘I love you,’” she said tearfully.

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Story by Lisa King, reporter for The Sentinel-News, a sister paper of The Oldham Era. E-mail us about this story at: editor@oldhamera.com.