A man charged with murder tells his story from the Metro Correctional Facility. It’s a complicated story that started about 30 years before he pulled the trigger.
LOUISVILLE, Kentucky. Randall Buford, 44, is facing life in prison. He has a long criminal history and was charged with murder in 2020. He is not shy about it. “I just. I just got bored. You know? I shot him,” Buford said.
But Randall Buford wants you to know what happened 30 years ago… the crimes he says were committed against him. He believes that understanding his past is integral to understanding why he did what he did.
“I grew up the way I grew up and have no respect for the system,” he said. “I have experienced and seen all her shortcomings.”
As a child, he was given up for adoption in Paducah. A man named Darrell Buford and his wife adopted Randall and his younger brother.
The local paper called it a “love story”, but Randall said the house was dangerous from the start.
“We immediately became victims of sexual violence. Darrell bullied us almost daily,” he said.
Just five years after the adoption, Darrell was convicted on five counts of sexually abusing his young children in 1993.
“He begs[ed] guilty, received ten years in prison. I think he experienced a shock about ten months later. But during this time, we are forced to visit him in prison every weekend.”
Randall said the abuse continued after he was convicted of a felony, and he claims he couldn’t have avoided it. Convicted child molester allowed to return to home with children he abused.
“You know that at such a young age, going through all this was uncomfortable. You already said. You are still dealing with it. Who will you tell?” At age 11, without government protection, Randall said he had to find his own way out.
Years later, Darrell Burford was again charged with sexual crimes against children, both his own and the children of the neighborhood. The case went to court, where it ended in a mistrial. The prosecutor decided not to consider the case again.
Randall said that this was his first exposure to the system.
“I start running away and they start sending me to different boys camps all over the state. I always gave them trouble in the camps, I didn’t cooperate with therapy and things. me back to the house,” he said.
Randall says he was forced into a relationship with the abuser, which he calls difficult.
“It’s almost unnatural because here you are, your abuser, you are forced to be near him, so you have affection,” he explained. “And he will be the only person in the world to help me financially or when I need any help.”
Randall’s legal problems continued into adulthood, with numerous criminal convictions and prison terms. When he was released from prison, he often called Darrell. When he is released on probation, Darrell’s address will be the one he used for home confinement.
But he said it was a problem for him, and in 2017, over the weekend, he received one of his more serious accusations, he said that it was due to an interaction with Darrell.
Randall used Darrell’s address to serve out the rest of his time in home confinement. But shortly after arriving, Randall said he knew the arrangement would not work.
“He starts his business immediately, so I call [Home Incarceration Program] office. I tell them, “Hey, I’m in trouble here, I need to change my address immediately.” At the office they told me that the problem was that I couldn’t listen. I didn’t know how to follow the rules and he didn’t give them to me. So, I said okay. It was on Saturday. I couldn’t call my lawyer, I had no one to call, so I cut the bracelet and left,” Randall explained.
After Randall left the house that day, he and another man were involved in a shootout on the road that left two adults and two children injured. He was charged with attempted murder. Randall said he was in the car, but he didn’t have a gun and didn’t shoot. He eventually negotiated a plea deal for four counts of facilitating the attack.
He said the whole situation could be traced back to his interaction with Darrell and the state’s refusal to help him when he said he needed to leave.
More incidents of abuse
Darrell’s legal proceedings also continued. In 2011, he was again charged with child sexual abuse.
The WHAS11 investigation revealed that despite numerous convictions for serious sex crimes in the early 1990s, Darrell managed to get a job at the American Printing Office for the Blind, was appointed to the governor’s commission, and even became an alumnus president of the Kentucky School for the Blind. Blind.
This was before the Kentucky Sex Offender Registry and Buford, convicted of sexual assault, apparently fell through the cracks.
Randall Buford was in prison when he learned that his adoptive father was again accused of sexual crimes against children.
“I’m locked up and it’s on the news that he’s doing it again. And that has always bothered me,” he said. “Because I could have done something, but I didn’t. I sincerely believed that this could have been part of what led to the January shooting.”
– Take a shower.
On January 10, 2020, Randall said he went to Darrell’s house for help. This is the day he killed him.
Randall Buford: “I walk up to the office, he’s working on his computer, we’re just talking, and he said, ‘Hey, go take a shower.’ And that’s just the seriousness of everything… the seriousness of my life, the seriousness of my circumstances at that moment and what I had to do to help. It’s just… it just weighed on me. That’s when I shot him.”
Shay McAlister: “Do you think Darrell intended or asked you to do something sexual with him?”
Randall Buford: “Yes ma’am. It was always like this when I left the house. It’s all there ever was.”
Shay McAlister: Did you call for help?
Randall Buford: “No, mom. I grabbed his phone and wallet and left. I went back to the street and after a couple of weeks I was caught.”
Randall said he never denied the murder, confessing to police what he did and how he did it the day he was found.
Now that he’s been charged with murder, he wants a chance to explain himself. The chance, he believes, will present itself in the courtroom.
Randall represents himself in court. He said he plans to use Kentucky’s self-defense law to defend himself against murder charges.
“If I did something wrong according to the law, then okay, I deserve to be punished,” he said. “The law says I didn’t do it, the law says I acted in self-defense.”
The law states: “The use of deadly physical force … is justified … when the accused believes that such force is necessary to protect … from sexual intercourse coerced by force or threat.”
Ultimately, the jury must decide whether this applies to Randall’s case.
“There were times when I felt like I regretted it, but at the same time I knew that if I hadn’t been there for him, this would never have happened,” he said. “I was forced to develop a relationship with him that should never have been.”
Randall believes that the state of Kentucky let him down more than once, but especially as a child. A child who was put into the system and then given into the hands of a predator and left there.
The Cabinet of Health and Family Services is responsible for overseeing public and private organizations that care for foster children.
WHAS11 contacted a state agency to find out how Randall’s case fell through… how a child was forced to live with a man convicted of sexually abusing him. The Cabinet of Ministers did not directly answer the question, but provided a statement stating, in part:
While we cannot predict every possible outcome, Kentucky has made great strides in ensuring the safety and stability of all children and adolescents in care outside the home. The Department of Public Services and many of our private partners have implemented a SAFE homeschooling process and all adoption agencies are required to complete a background check using the National Background Check Program (NBCP).
The National Background Verification Program helps ensure that all required background checks are completed for each family member, including state criminal records, FBI criminal history, sex offender registry, child abuse and neglect history, and out-of-state background checks if required.
With the introduction of SAFE home research and rigorous background checks, the foster parent and/or foster parent approval process and ongoing evaluation throughout the life of the case help to better ensure the safety and stability of children in care outside the home.
No date has been set for Randall’s trial, but his next court appearance is July 25.
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