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Circuit Court Hearings for May 13, 2016

Kevin Music, 38  Was present for a pretrial conference on  2 counts of Complicity to Burglary and Complicity Possession of Burglary Tools. Next Hearing was set for 6-10-16. 

Ashley Adkins, 34 Defendant was sentenced  to 5 years unsupervised probation with a diversion if probation was completed on charge of Flagrant Non Support. 1 day of jail credit granted. 

Traci Hall-Combs, 30 Pled guilty on Fraudulent Use of A Credit Card and received 5 years of supervised probation and other conditions.

John Fitch, 42 Received 3 years of unsupervised probation with a diversion if he completes his probation, Defendant was granted 42 jail days credit on charge of Flagrant Non Support. 

Justin Harless, 28  Was present on a Motion To Reduce Bond on Manufacturing Methamphetamine. Motion was denied. Bail will remain at 20,000. 

Brittany Hicks, 28  Sentenced on the following charges: Complicity 1st Degree Possession of Cocaine, 1st offense ( 2 yrs. Supervised Probation) Complicity Possession of Marijuana (Dismissed)Complicity to Possess Drug Paraphernalia (Dismissed) Convicted Felon in Possession of a Firearm (to run concurrent) 100 days of jail credit was granted. 

Justin Kirk, 21 Was present on charges of Complicity Tampering With Physical Evidence, Wanton Endangerment 1st Degree (Police Officer) Criminal Mischief 1st Degree, and Theft By Unlawful Taking Over 300. The case was reset for 5-27-16.

Nathaniel Pack, 33 Was present on a Hearing For Probation Revocation. Hearing was set for 5-27-16. Defendant remains incarcerated until that time without bond.

Wayne Reynolds, 23 Was present on a Motion For Shock Probation. Motion was reset for 5-27-16.

Eric Tyler Ward, 21  Pled guilty on following charges: Theft by Unlawful Taking ( 5 years unsupervised probation) Burglary 3rd Degree ( 5 years) Theft By Unlawful Taking, Shoplifting  (3 Years) Criminal Mischief (time served) Final Sentencing to be held on 6-10-16.

Matthew Webb, 32 Present on a Motion To Revoke Probation. Probation was Revoked and Defendant was remanded to the Kentucky Department of Corrections.

Bobby Wellman, 33  Defendant was Arraigned on charges of Flagrant Non Support and Persistent Felony Offender 2nd Degree. Pretrial was set for 6-10-16. Defendant remains on bond.

Danny Young, 30 Defendant Sentenced on the following charges: Complicity 1st Degree Possession of Cocaine, 1st offense ( 2 years) Complicity Possession of Marijuana (90 days) Complicity Use/Possess Drug Paraphernalia (12months) Complicity Illegal Possession of a Legend Drug (90 days ran concurrent) Defendant was given 73 days of jail credit. Defendant was also sentenced to 2 years to run concurrent with these charges for the charge of Convicted Felon in Possession of A Firearm.

Stacy Zeiters, 34 Pled guilty on the following charges: 2 counts of 1st Degree Possession of Cocaine 1st offense, Menacing, Resisting Arrest, Alcohol Intoxication In a Public Place, 1st & 2nd. Defendant will be final sentenced on 6-10-16.

Jack David Smith, 43 of Inez, Ky  who is charged with 3 counts of Complicity to Murder, 3 counts of Complicity to Robbery, Arson 2nd Degree, and Complicity of Tampering With Physical Evidence was present during Motion Hour for several Motions to be heard since his change of Venue was granted.

An order for court fees to be paid by Martin Co. (Where the alleged crime happened) was asked to be granted by Lawrence Co. Attorney Mike Hogan. A motion for a Jury Questionnaire was granted. A motion for Cabinet Records was also granted. 

Lawrence County Fiscal Court

May 16, 2016
Regular Meeting Agenda
10:00 a.m.

 

  • Opening Prayer
  • Pledge of Allegiance
  • Call Meeting to Order
  • Approve minutes of the April 18, 2016 Regular Meeting
  • Approve 1st Reading of Budget Amendment #5
  • Approve Treasurer’s Request
  • Approve Bills
  • Approve Treasurer’s Report
  • Approve 1st Reading of FY 16/17 Budget
  • Approve Recurring Expenses FY 16/17
  • Set Salaries FY 16/17
  • Approve Contract on County Park Store
  • Authorize Clerk to advertise for bids on gravel, blacktop, pipe, fuel, etc.
  • Approve Personnel Policy & Procedures and Administrative Code
  • Award Bid on Brookside/Summer Bridge
  • Appoint Member to Fred M. Vinson Board (Constance Queen)
  • Approve Correction on Board of Assessment Members Term
  • Appoint Bobby Preece to Board of Assessment
  • AEP Rep To Speak
  • Public comments
  • Adjourn

 Local officers included in $900 pay raises 


Certified Peace Officers across the Commonwealth will receive their first training incentive raise in 15 years, a press release from Gov. Matt Bevin’s office stated Thursday.

“The state funded training incentive is a great program and provides officers with additional funds for maintaining their training.," Louisa Police Cheif Greg Fugitt said. "The proposed $900 increase will mean more to officers in this area than it would in other parts of Kentucky. “

The measure affects nearly 7,300 Kentucky officers served by the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training.

“We have said consistently, that we are going to protect those who protect us,” said Gov. Bevin. “We are pleased that this final budget ends the practice of sweeping KLEPF funds. These dollars are for our law enforcement and that is exactly what they are going to be used for. We will use these funds not only to attract the best and the brightest, but also to ensure that we keep them.”

Kentucky Justice Secretary John Tilley applauded the governor’s dedication to peace officers and his resolve in the state budget.

“Kentucky can be proud of its long tradition of training and professionalism in law enforcement," Secretary Tilley said.“Increasing the incentive will only strengthen our commitment to the highest standards of public service – and to the men and women who put their own lives at risk to keep our communities safe.”

The dollars Gov. Bevin referenced are generated through the Kentucky Law Enforcement Foundation Program Fund, a 1.8 percent surcharge on casualty insurance premiums. About 70 percent of revenues raised from the surcharge are committed to KLEFPF and designated for the mandatory training of Kentucky law enforcement officers.

The fund also supports a training incentive stipend to certified Kentucky peace officers who complete annual, statutorily-mandated training requirements. Since 2001, officers have received $3,100 annually upon meeting these standards. Following Gov. Bevin’s budget signature, these officers will receive $4,000 annually.

“I praise Gov. Bevin for following through with what he said he’d do,” said Wayne Wright Kentucky Sheriffs’ Association president and Woodford County sheriff. “He didn’t back down, and he made it happen. For officers to be recognized through the legislature for their training, and to be compensated for that training, is outstanding.”

DOCJT, the Kentucky Sheriffs’ Association, Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police, Kentucky Fraternal Order of Police, Kentucky League of Cities and Kentucky Association of Counties formed a coalition to present a unified voice of support for these necessary changes, said Wayne Turner, Bellevue Police chief and KACP legislative chairman.

“This was the first time we all spoke to both Democrats and Republicans with a common voice to say, ‘We need this done for the continued professionalization of law enforcement,’” Turner said. “We worked together for a common cause. The average police officer in Kentucky makes about $30,000. When you get the opportunity to give them a $900 pay raise through this training stipend, it is astronomical.”

The budget also establishes equitability among the state’s law enforcement by including more than 200 certified Kentucky officers who meet the qualifications for inclusion in the KLEFPF training incentive, but have never been statutorily included to receive the stipend. This measure brings in officers from the Kentucky Horse Park mounted patrol officers, Kentucky Department of Parks rangers, Kentucky Department of Agriculture investigators, Kentucky Alcoholic Beverage Control investigators, Kentucky Department of Insurance investigators, Kentucky Attorney General’s Office investigators and school resource officers serving statewide.

“With the creation of the Peace Officer Professional Standards, the sheriffs stepped up in education and voted to participate in POPS,” Wright said. “It was a big push from our association to get everyone on the same training page and on an equal training field with police officers. Now, we are trained under the same umbrella. The increase in (the KLEFPF training incentive) is a way of showing that we trust our employees. Having better training allows us to retain more employees. Typically some sheriffs’ offices cannot pay as much as some police departments, so for hiring and retaining officers this increase helps a whole lot.”

The Department of Criminal Justice Training is a state agency located on Eastern Kentucky University’s campus. The agency is the first in the nation to be accredited under the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies’ public safety training program designation. DOCJT also earned accreditation through the International Association for Continuing Education and Training in 2013 – making it the nation’s only law enforcement training academy to achieve dual accreditation by two independent accrediting organizations.

NEW WATER COMMISSION EXPECTED TO BE NAMED BY MAYOR AT REGULAR MEETING THE NEXT DAY

 

Louisa City Council

Special Workshop Agenda

May 9, 2016--7:00pm

Louisa City Hall

Agenda

  1. Call to order.
  2. Louisa Water & Sewer 2016-2017 Budget workshop.
  3. City of Louisa 2016-2017 Budget workshop.
  4. Adjourn.

Louisa City Council

Regular Meeting Agenda

May 10, 2016--7:00pm

Louisa City Hall

 

 

  1. Call to order.
  2. Pledge of allegiance and Prayer.
  3. Mayor comments.

        Old Business

 

  1. Approve minutes for April 12, 2016.
  2. Levisa Lane.

       

New Business 

           

  1. Appoint Water & Sewer Board. 
  2. Schooley Mitchell, Consider Communications contract with Lycom.
  3. First reading City of Louisa Budget.
  4. First Reading Louisa Water & Sewer Budget.
  5. First reading City of Louisa Compensation.
  6. Council comments.
  7. Audience comments
  8. Executive session.
  9. Adjourn.

Court rules 2-1 to remand Purdom case back to Circuit court; says trial court should have viewed all 58 videos before ruling on admissability...

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- In a split decision on April 22 the Kentucky Court of Appeals reversed a decision by a Lawrence County jury that convicted local banker Ed Purdom, Jr. of possessing child pornography and remanded the case back to Circuit Court.

Ed PurdomPurdom's attorney, Michael Mizzoli of Louisville, argued in front of judges DIXON, NICKELL, AND VANMETER, and claimed the trial court should have excluded all sexually explicit videos, especially since he offered to stipulate they contained child pornography, and should have granted his directed verdict motion. VANMETER dissented and Dixon and Nickell voted in the affirmative, court records show.

Having reviewed the briefs, the record and the law, the Kentucky Court of Appeals reversed and remanded for further proceedings due to the trial court’s failure to conduct the balancing test required by case law.

New Attorney General Steve Beshear 's office did not return a phone call for comment on whether the case will be retried or when. A spokesperson from the office said she will try to get the information as soon as possible.

Edgar N. Purdom, Jr., appealed a sentence of fifteen years imposed by the Lawrence Circuit Court after a jury found him guilty of distribution of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor (four counts) and possession  of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor (one count), a class D felony.

After a three day trial, jurors fixed punishment at three years on each of the five counts, with the
terms to be served consecutively, a sentence the trial court imposed without change.

The entire case can be viewed at http://law.justia.com/cases/kentucky/court-of-appeals/2016/2014-ca-002079-mr.html

FACTS FROM THE APPEALS COURT

This prosecution resulted from an undercover operation launched in September 2008 by the Office of the Kentucky Attorney General (OAG) to catch persons using peer-to-peer (P2P) software to traffic in child pornography via the internet. In 2013, Investigator Kathryn Reed noticed suspicious online activity involving an internet protocol (IP) address assigned to Purdom in Louisa, Kentucky. At the time, Purdom was president of the Louisa Community Bank and had been involved in commercial banking for three decades.

On Sunday, February 24, 2013, Reed identified a computer with Purdom’s IP address as a potential source from which 35 files believed to contain child pornography could be downloaded. That evening and the next day, Reed successfully downloaded five videos, each between six and 26 minutes in length.

On July 16 and 17, 2013, Reed downloaded more videos, these were between ten and 14 minutes in length. On September 9 and 10, 2013, Reed noticed more suspicious activity associated with Purdom’s IP address and downloaded still more files. On these two days, cookies associated with Purdom’s IP address indicated the user had visited several adult and child pornography websites.

On October 3, 2013, a search warrant was executed at Purdom’s Louisa apartment. Various electronic devices—including a desktop computer, a laptop computer, an iPad and cellphones—were seized from the apartment.

Purdom agreed to collect and provide more devices during a subsequent meeting. While Purdom alone used his home desktop computer, and he alone knew its password, he professed shock when investigators apprised him of the contraband files and pornographic websites linked to his IP address. Purdom ultimately deflected culpability from himself to a Portuguese immigrant who cleans the bank parking lot, does not drive, lacks a valid visa, and has repaired Purdom’s computer ten or more times.

The case was tried November 24-26, 2014. According to Purdom’s brief, a pre-trial hearing occurred ten days before trial, but no such hearing appears in the certified record provided to us (the Appeals Court).

During voir dire, jurors were made aware of the nature of the case. The prosecutor told jurors they might be shown images containing child pornography. That revelation prompted several potential jurors to approach the bench and be excused from consideration. During defense counsel’s questioning, he referred to Purdom’s alleged conduct as “horrific and disgusting.”

Once a jury was sworn, the Commonwealth stated in its opening remarks that it was unclear whether videos would be shown to the jury during trial.

Defense counsel reserved opening statement.

Reed was the Commonwealth’s first witness. For nearly two hours she gave highly technical and methodical testimony about computers, the internet, and how her investigation unfolded. In detailing the times at which she downloaded videos, she gave a brief description of the content of each video she had provided in an affidavit in support of the search warrant executed at Purdom’s apartment. The written description of the first video read: This video is 7 minutes and 9 seconds in length and depicts a pre-pubescent female child seen performing oral sex on an adult male (Next part redacted by The Levisa Lazer).

{Absent the filing of a designation of record, a pre-trial hearing will not be included in the appellate record. Kentucky Rules of Civil Procedure (CR) 98(3). No designation of record having been filed in this case, we do not know what transpired at that hearing because it is not part of the certified record. Purdom claims during the hearing he asked the trial court to excludethe videos from the upcoming jury trial because they were graphic and highly inflammatory. He also says he offered to stipulate the videos contained child pornography.}

After the lunch break, while at the bench discussing proposed instructions, defense counsel formally objected to the anticipated playing of portions of the videos during trial. He argued their prejudice outweighed any probative value, and playing any portion of any of them—apparently even one second—was cumulative and unnecessary because Reed had already and would again verbally describe the activity depicted in the clips the Commonwealth wanted to play. Purdom urged the court to exercise its discretion under KRE 403 and exclude all the videos. This was the only objection voiced by defense counsel in the certified record.

In response, the Commonwealth argued it was necessary to play the videos to establish an element of both crimes charged—that Purdom knew the “content and character” of the videos—something uniquely within Purdom’s mind—and he possessed and distributed the material with that specific knowledge.

The prosecutor stated Purdom’s offer to stipulate the videos contained sexual performances by minors was wholly insufficient in light of the elements involved.

Jurors saw only twelve seconds of this video, depicting an adult male and a female child, both
nude, on a bed, with the child {PERFORMING A SEX ACT}..

The prosecutor went on to say, “I’m only going to play enough of each [video] to establish it’s a sexual performance by a minor,” and “I’m only going to play one off of each day.” The trial court then ruled, saying, “Okay. All right. Thank you. Overruled.” Thereafter, Reed resumed testifying.

About eight minutes into the afternoon session, twelve seconds of the first video was played; followed by two minutes and 52 seconds of the second video. About six minutes later, 32 seconds of the third video was played, followed by 11 seconds of the fourth video. On the afternoon of the second day of trial, during testimony from OAG Investigator and Digital Forensic Examiner Tom Bell, snippets of three more videos were played—one was a 30 second repeat of a clip shown on the opening day of trial to confirm Bell had located that particular video on a FireLight external hard drive Purdom had provided to Reed; the second was only two seconds long, but played twice because it was “very quick;” and, the third was nine seconds long.

After deliberating 22 minutes, jurors convicted Purdom on all five counts, but they did not sentence him to the maximum term of five years on each charge. Instead, they fixed punishment at three years on each count, to be served consecutively for a total of 15 years.

It is from this judgment, entered in conformity with the jury’s verdict, that Purdom APPEALED.

Court's Analysis

Purdom’s first and most compelling argument is the trial court abused its considerable discretion by not excluding all videos from trial. More specifically, he claims the trial court abandoned its role as a gatekeeper by admitting the videos without first viewing them and balancing their potential for undue prejudice against their purported probative worth. We agree.

A trial court has wide discretion in admitting evidence. On appeal, we will not disturb a trial court’s decision to admit evidence absent an abuse of discretion. To overturn the trial court’s ruling, we must be convinced the decision was “arbitrary, unreasonable, unfair, or unsupported by sound legal principles.” 

In this prosecution, each video was different in content, established a separate charge, and the Commonwealth had refined the portion of each video shown to the bare minimum.

Not only did the Commonwealth not show portions of all 58 salacious videos in Purdom’s possession, it showed mere seconds of most, with two minutes and 52 seconds being the longest clip and the trio of children depicted therein was clothed during much of it.

it is but the latest pronouncement directing trial courts to view potentially inflammatory material before allowing it to be shown to a jury. [W]e note that the trial court specifically stated that it purposely never viewed the sexually explicit images before they were exhibited to the jury. In its role as a gatekeeper of evidence, a trial court must view and consider any disputed evidence to determine its admissibility on relevancy grounds, regardless of the revolting nature of that evidence. Stated another way: how could the trial court properly weigh the prejudicial effect of these images against their putative, probative value without first seeing them? On remand, the trial court must not abdicate its gatekeeping role by ruling in a vacuum as to the admissibility of unseen images orobjects.

Given the inflammatory nature of the evidence, the district court needed to know what was in the photographs and videos in order for it to properly exercise its discretion under Rule 403.10 Without looking at the videos for itself, the court could not have fully assessed the potential prejudice to Loughry and weighed it against the evidence's probative value. See Curtin, 489 F.3d at 958 (“One cannot evaluate in a Rule 403 context what one has not seen or read.”). We therefore hold that, in light of the evidence in this case, the district court abused its discretion under Rule 403 when it failed to review the challenged videos before they were admitted in evidence.

In light of the foregoing, we must conclude the trial court abused its discretion and abandoned its role as gatekeeper. The only other issue raised on appeal is whether the trial court should have granted a directed verdict.

In light of our resolution of the KRE 403 issue, and the need for remand to the trial court, whether a directed verdict should have been granted is moot.

WHEREFORE, we reverse and remand the judgment for further proceedings consistent with this Opinion. If a retrial is scheduled, and the Commonwealth seeks to play sexually explicit videos to which Purdom objects, the trial court must view the material, conduct the balancing test required by KRE 403 and case law, make appropriate findings of fact as discussed in Hall, and rule on whether any, all or none of the videos may be played for the jury.