WALTON, Ky. — John Gentry made his first appearance by video in Boone County Court Friday morning to address misdemeanor charges against him including shoplifting, theft, fourth-degree assault and domestic violence. A not-guilty plea was entered by a judge for those charges.
Prosecutors said they hope a grand jury will indict him on murder and attempted murder charges in the shooting death of Tiffany Kidwell and wounding their 3-year-old son the night of Oct. 2, before his next court date on Dec. 10.
“Because of your status with the public defender on other matters, I’m going to enter a not guilty plea on these two cases,” Boone County district court judge Jeffrey Smith said.
The Boone County Sheriff’s Office said Gentry shot and killed Kidwell in a Walton driveway during a domestic situation, despite a protective order she had against him. Investigators also said he shot and injured their 3-year-old son. That child is in stable condition at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Doctors have not set a release date.
The sheriff’s office said Gentry also shot a stranger, stealing the man’s car as he tried to get away. That man has since been released from the hospital.
Pernell Haizlip didn’t know Kidwell personally, but he said he was touched by her story and felt he had to do something for her two sons – so he started a fundraising effort.
“I feel like it was an opportunity for myself to make a difference at least,” he said.
Haizlip was seriously injured in an accidental shooting while hanging out with friends in February.
“My accident flipped my life switch with my outlook on life,” he said.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced his family to postpone a benefit meant to cover his medical costs several times. Now that it’s ready to go for this weekend, Haizlip changed his mind.
“I was like, 'No, no, no, we’re going to donate all of the money to them,'” he said. “Money doesn’t solve the issues, and it can’t bring their mom back. But it definitely gives them something to kind of ease the mind.”
Haizlip is donating all the money raised from his benefit to Kidwell’s children. He said after being lucky enough to survive his accident, he feels the need to try and help.
“Just be better than yesterday. Be stronger. Be better," he said. "If you’re still alive, if you’re still breathing, if you can still talk, you still have a chance to make a difference.”
The benefit is at the American Legion on U.S. 42 in Florence and goes from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17. Information on the event can be found here.