DECEMBER 2, 2015
Skeens is ‘mum’ on where the video and grand jury transcripts are
LOUISA, Ky. — Commonwealth’s Attorney Anna D. Melvin’s office refused to comment or provide any information on the grand jury investigation concerning the death of Billy Collins, Jr. at the hands of Louisa Police officers earlier this year. A person who answered the phone in Melvin’s office said there will be no more information released.
“The ‘no true bill notice’ is all we are going to give out and before another question could be asked, she hung up the phone.
The Collins case is beginning to draw widespread attention, especially in Lawrence Co. since it was learned yesterday that family members of Collins, 56, who died in police custody after being tased by members of the Louisa Police Dept six months ago, were stonewalled by KSP officers as well as Melvin’s office and assistant CA Tony Skeens.
Circuit Clerk Jodi Parsley provided the ‘Report of no true bill and order of dismissal’ to The Lazer this morning and all it says is DEATH INVESTIGATION – “Insufficient evidence was presented to warrant an indictment.”
Lt. Aaron Martin of the KSP’s Ashland Post said this morning that his department has been told to refer all inquiries to the Commonwealth Attoney’s office.
Collins family members were upset yesterday when they found out the grand jury had already met and thrown the case out without notifying them. Collins’ daughter said the family has repeatedly asked for information from the state police and were told that the case was ongoing and they couldn’t release any information. She said the family did not know of the grand jury meeting, which took place three weeks ago on Nov. 12 and 13, until they read it in The Lazer.
Central in the case is a body cam video allegedly made by LPD officers during the incident. The family was originally told by KSP officials that the video would be shown to family members first and then the grand jury. But that hasn’t happened and now that the criminal case is essentially over, the family members want to know where the video is and why they can’t see it.
Also the grand jury made its decision without the availability of autopsy reports from the state medical examiner’s office which were still not complete yesterday — after six months.
A Mr. Hazelett who answered the phone in Melvin’s office earlier this morning, said the grand jury action is a matter of public record but a records request would have to be made in Frankfort to obtain a copy of the tape and the grand jury transcripts.
He said that a copy of the grand jury report is available at Ms. Parsley’s office. He said Mr. Skeens was running an errand and would call back in “5 or 10 minutes” but the callback never came. The receptionist in Melvin’s office is the one who hung up on a Lazer reporter (me) at just after 1:00 PM.