Niece of suspect charged following Ky., trooper death

EDDYVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky State Police have arrested an 18-year-old Missouri woman following a manhunt for a suspect in the death of a state trooper.

Thin_Blue_Line.svgPolice said Ambrea R.J. Shanks of Florissant, Missouri, was lodged in the Caldwell County Jail on a charge of first-degree hindering prosecution or apprehension.

Police said she is a niece of Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks, the suspect in the death of Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder on Sunday night in western Kentucky.

Police say the 25-year-old Johnson-Shanks of Missouri was shot by police Monday morning when he refused to drop his weapon.

Another woman and two children in the car were not charged.
Police say Ponder is the second trooper from the Mayfield post in western Kentucky to be killed in the line of duty this year.

Authorities say Ponder conducted a traffic stop Sunday night when the driver fled. After a chase, the suspect stopped his car abruptly and fired several shots into Ponder’s cruiser. He died later at a hospital.

Ponder’s death comes just three months after 23-year-old Erick K. Chrisman died in a traffic crash while responding to a reckless driving complaint.

Both troopers had graduated from the police academy in January. Trooper Jay Thomas says, “We’re all just holding together the best that we can and just continue to do our jobs.”