Suspect in targeted cop shooting makes court appearance

Nov. 7—GRAYSON — A Vanceburg man accused of shooting an Olive Hill police officer in June made a court appearance Monday in Carter County Circuit Court.

Wesley James Cornell, 31, charged with attempted murder and wanton endangerment of a police officer, was apprehended by Kentucky State Police following an hours-long manhunt and the entire downtown area to shelter-in-place.

According to previous reports, officials said Cornell fired a high-powered rifle through the window of Officer Joe Preston's cruiser, which was sitting near the Olive Hill Railroad Depot and First National Bank.

Preston was life-flighted from the scene and law enforcement later reported he suffered from glass shrapnel to his arm.

On Monday, attorneys said Cornell is still awaiting a competency evaluation, after an earlier motion by the defense was rejected by prosecutors.

Cornell was previously represented by Public Defender Brandon West, but due to rearrangement in the Department of Public Advocacy, he was introduced to Christina Smith, who has taken over for West.

Carter Circuit Judge Rebecca Phillips said West had previously prevented an oral motion for an evaluation but Commonwealth's attorneys requested it be in writing.

To allow time for a written motion requesting the evaluation and the prosecution's response, Phillips scheduled Cornell to reappear on Dec. 18.

Cornell is held on a $1 million cash bond.