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Sheriff: Driver shot, killed passenger during argument on I-71/75

Detectives from the Boone County Sheriff’s Office arrested 20-year-old Vicente J. Velazquez and charged him with one count of sodomy for a victim under the age of 12.
Posted at 1:25 PM, Jun 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-03 17:27:15-04

VERONA, Ky. — A driver shot and killed his passenger during an argument as the pair traveled through Boone County Thursday morning, according to county deputies. He was still on the road when he called 911 to report the crime.

Deputies wrote the two men — 36-year-old victim Girlis Serratt and 32-year-old suspect Tommy Hightower, who now stands charged with murder — began their journey in Alabama and planned to meet friends in Michigan. They didn’t make it.

At the time of the attack, Hightower and Serratt were arguing about whether they should return to Alabama or search for jobs in Ohio, according to investigators.

Deputies believe Hightower fatally shot Serratt in response. He called police immediately afterward, confessed to the shooting and agreed to surrender himself into deputies’ custody at nearby Shell station.

Serratt would be pronounced dead at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Hightower is being held at the Boone County Justice Center.