JULY 11, 2015
Hogan Keeps 100% Jury Trial Conviction Rate With Conviction for Abuse of Corpse
Lawrence County Attorney Mike Hogan successfully maintained his 100 percent jury trial record as county attorney this week after successfully prosecuting an Elliott Co. man for abusing a corpse in 2014.
A Lawrence Co. District Court jury on Thursday convicted Michael Pennington, Jr., of Elliott Co. for abusing a corpse in March 2014.
Under KRS 525.120, Abuse of Corpse is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and up to a $500 fine. Mr. Pennington received the maximum sentence following his conviction.
The incident stemmed from the discovery in March 2014 of the body of Brandon Burnett, 30, of Carter Co. Burnett’s corpse was discovered in a remote area on Caines Creek in Lawrence Co. by a well tender employed by a natural gas company.
The Kentucky State Medical Examiner determined that while Burnett had died from an accidental drug overdose, a hypodermic needle had been placed in his body following his death. Pennington had apparently transported Burnett’s body to the Caines Creek area and placed it there with the needle in the arm of the corpse.
Hogan said he gave full credit to the work of Lawrence Co. Sheriff Garrett Roberts, Chief Deputy Mark Wheeler and the assistance of the Kentucky State Police crime lab for being able to successfully prosecute the case.
“My job was made very easy because of the excellent, professional work of the Lawrence Co. Sheriff’s Department with the cooperation of the Kentucky State Police,” Hogan said.
“I hope this is a warning to drug users and traffickers who commit crimes within the borders of Lawrence County–we will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law and you will go to jail,” said Hogan.