Pike Judge reduces charges for Pike student who attacked Lawrence Co. player during baseball game…
The felony assault charge filed against a Pike Central High School baseball player following an incident which occurred during a recent baseball game against Lawrence County at Pike Central has been reduced to a misdemeanor charge.
In Pike District Court on Thursday, Judge Kelsey E. Friend Jr. signed an agreed order entered into the case against 18-year-old Bradley Elkins, of Forrest Mountain Drive, Pikeville, amending the felony second-degree assault charge he faced to a misdemeanor charge of fourth-degree assault. Pike Commonwealth’s Attorney Rick Bartley appeared in Friend’s courtroom during Thursday’s hearing in the case to address the agreed order, saying that the injuries suffered by the alleged victim in the case do not warrant the felony assault charge.
Bartley also said he has spoken to the father of the 17-year-old LC player in the case and the victim’s family is continuing to accrue medical expenses as a result of the incident. Bartley added, however, that he would have a difficult time prosecuting Elkins based upon the evidence in the case.
(The family of the Lawrence County player has reportedly filed a civil lawsuit in the case.)
“Based upon that, I do not believe the Commonwealth can prove serious physical injury that would justify a felony second-degree assault charge,” Bartley said.
Bartley said that while he has not seen medical records for the alleged victim, he believes he has a good understanding of the alleged victim’s medical condition and the injuries suffered by him are likely not lasting and do not meet the guidelines dictated by state law in defining a felony assault in the second degree.
“It is my understanding that while this young man had some very serious conditions immediately, that through the passage of time and medical care and medical testing, it is obvious now he’s not going to have an injury or a condition that would meet that definition of serious physical injury,” Bartley said.
Bartley told Friend that he concurs with the order reducing the charges.
Elkins was facing the possibility of a potential prison term of between 10 and 20 years had he been convicted on the second-degree assault charge. The charge was filed in response to an incident which occurred during a high school baseball between Pike Central and Lawrence County High School on May 5.
Pike Sheriff’s Department Det. Eddie Crum told the News-Express in a previous interview that Elkins attacked the alleged victim in the case in relation to previous non-violent incident involving Elkins and the minor. Crum said that after Elkins knocked the minor unconscious, he continued to beat him, hitting him “several times while he was on the ground unconscious.”
The order seeking an amendment of the felony assault charge to a misdemeanor was tendered a day after Elkins was charged with the felony and was signed by Pike County Attorney Howard Keith Hall and Elkins’ attorney, Jonah Stevens, who said in a statement to the News-Express that he was representing Elkins pro bono. Hall told the News-Express in a previous interview that the felony charge was necessary at the time of the filing, but since the alleged victim did not show signs of serious or permanent injury or the danger of death as a result of the alleged attack, amending the charge to a misdemeanor is appropriate.
Following Thursday’s hearing, Assistant Pike Attorney Tommy Chamberlin echoed Hall’s opinion, saying the reduction of the charge was appropriate.
“We’ve been able to discuss this and the resulting injuries do warrant the misdemeanor charge, but not the felony charge,” Chamberlin said.
As a result of the reduction of the charge, Elkins’ bond was also reduced from $10,000 cash to $2,000 cash. Elkins, who has remained free on bond since May 6, is due back in court on the misdemeanor fourth-degree assault charge Sept. 8.
Stevens said during Thursday’s hearing that Elkins’ family is happy to hear the alleged victim in the case is recovering and is preparing to participate with his team in the state high school baseball tournament.
By Chris Anderson
(Lazer editor Mark Grayson contributed to this story)