Man arrested in Princeton homicide investigation


Reporter - Lauren Adams
Photojournalist - David Dycus

PRINCETON, Ky. - A Princeton man faces a murder charge in connection with the death of a woman Tuesday morning.

Police arrested John Barnwell II and charged him with the murder of 50-year-old Penny Riley. He is also charged with motor vehicle theft.

Police responded to a home in the 500 block of North Plum Street around 5 a.m. Tuesday. KSP says a verbal argument between Barnwell and Riley turned physical. Barnwell then allegedly stabbed Riley and fled the scene. He was later arrested at his home on Needmore Road.

Penny Riley was a mother of two daughters and a grandmother of three.   Ashley Riley remembered her aunt saying, "She just loved to have fun, having a good time- making memories and keeping smiles on everyone's face."

Riley says her family was disappointed to learn Barnwell had been arrested, "She tried to be his friend, she was good to him.  He came around her kids, her family.  He was around all of us." 

A spokesperson for KSP says Barnwell may have believed there was more to their friendship and became angry when he discovered that was not the case.