Teenager who conspired to kill parents pleads guilty
By Mason Blanford
A Paducah teen pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiring to kill her parents and her boyfriend's mother and caretaker.
Zoe Bryan, 16, pleaded in McCracken Circuit Court to conspiracy to commit first-degree manslaughter. She also pleaded guilty to second-degree arson, stemming from a January 2016 fire at her family home.
She is sentenced to 15 years and awaits juvenile sentencing on April 11. An adult sentencing will occur at age 18.
Bryan and boyfriend Kyle Parrish, 17, of Paducah, were indicted in September. Authorities said that between January and April they plotted the slayings because the two were being restricted from seeing each other.
They were charged first as juveniles and later as adults. Parrish pleaded guilty in November to conspiracy to commit first-degree manslaughter. He was sentenced to 10 years.
"We think it was a fair outcome to a bad situation," Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Leigh Ann Dycus said. "We're thankful no one was hurt, and as far as them not going to trial and accepting guilty pleas, it takes strain off their families of going through this (further)."
"This outcome hopefully prevents the two from committing further offenses, and hopefully they can get some help and turn this around."
Bryan cried as McCracken Circuit Judge Tim Kaltenbach discussed her sentencing. Prior to accepting a plea, the results of a competency evaluation declared she was fit to stand trial.
She told Kaltenbach she dealt with post-traumatic stress disorder and manic-depressive disorder, and was now taking medication.
During initial investigation, law enforcement officials gathered text messages between Bryan and Parrish that stated they planned to kill their parents "in their sleep, stab them in the head or poison them."
Bryan's parents -- Jennifer DuBerry and John Bryan -- later reported to police that Bryan had confessed to the plan, which involved sleeping pills crushed with Benadryl and a kitchen knife.
"Today what we're seeing in court cases -- especially juveniles -- is social media and text messaging as evidence," Dycus said. "We're fortunate in this case it was brought to law enforcement's attention before something happened."