More defendants possible in vote-buying case; Louisa city attorney involved in case
Local law enforcement looking for a Magoffin County man after he allegedly hit another man with his vehicle, then fled the scene.
Magoffin County Sheriff’s Department was called to the Connelley Farm area in Magoffin at approximately 4 p.m. on Friday, January 29.
According to Sheriff Carson Montgomery, John R. “JR” Allen and Tim May were reportedly in an altercation in the parking lot at the vet clinic on Ky. Route 30 when Allen allegedly hit May, who was standing outside of his vehicle, with his truck, in an act that is believed to have been intentional.
May was flown out to Pikeville Medical Center, then later transported to University of Kentucky Medical Center, where he remains hospitalized at press time. Due to the seriousness of his medical condition, law enforcement have not been able to get a statement from May.
Though Allen has not been located since the incident, Sheriff Montgomery said they have found his truck in Breathitt County. It is currently impounded and they plan to take it to the crime lab, where they hope to gather enough evidence to determine what exactly happened in that parking lot.
Warrants have been issued against Allen for first-degree assault, leaving the scene of an accident and failure to render aid, though Sheriff Montgomery said he expects more charges to be filed.
Montgomery asks that if anyone sees Allen, he or she should call the sheriff’s office at 606-349-2914, or after hours call 911.
By Heather Oney
More defendants possible in vote-buying case
Last week the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed a response in the ongoing federal vote-buying case that alludes to the possibility of adding more defendants to the case.
On November 19, 2015, a federal grand jury released an indictment of four Magoffin County residents on vote-buying charges regarding the 2014 primary and general elections. Magoffin County Magistrate (District 1) Gary “Rooster” Risner, along with Tami Jo Risner, Mason Daniels and Scottie Lyn McCarty, were charged with paying and offering to pay for votes in an election, broken down into 17 counts of felony offenses. A jury trial for the four was tentatively scheduled for February 9, 2016.
On January 15 Tami Jo Risner’s attorney, Willis G. Coffey, motioned the Court to continue an upcoming pretrial conference and the jury trial for 45 days, stating that Risner is undergoing a pretrial psychiatric or psychological examination in Texas.
On January 19, U.S District Judge Danny C. Reeves granted Tami Jo Risner’s motion to continue, stating that the pretrial conference (originally scheduled for January 28) and jury trial dates for all defendants in this case are continued generally, pending the receipt of the evaluation report regarding Risner’s competency. A hearing will be scheduled upon the Court’s receipt of the evaluation.
All 17 charges carry the penalty of not more than five years prison, $250,000 fine and three years supervised release, as well as a mandatory special assessment of $100 per count.
On Thursday, January 28, U.S. Attorney’s Office Kenneth Taylor submitted a response regarding trial dates, explaining that the speedy trial clock will run in mid-May and discusses possible weeks to hold the trial.
For the court’s consideration, he further notes, “The United States now informs the Court that a superseding indictment, charging one or more additional defendants, may be forthcoming. In that event, the United States will seek an ‘ends of justice’ continuance as to all defendants under 18 U.S.C. § 3161 (i)(7)(A) on the basis that the law’s preference for a joint trial of all defendants, coupled with the fact that no defendant is detained, outweighs the public’s and the defendants’ right to a speedy trial.”
Also important to note, the 2014 Magoffin County General Election included the Magoffin County judge executive’s race, which remains up in the air. While the incumbent, Dr. Charles Hardin won the election by 28 votes against republican candidate John Montgomery. Montgomery filed an election contest suit in December 2014 against Hardin and the Magoffin County Board of Elections and in February Circuit Judge John David Preston ruled to throw out the election results in the judge executive race and deemed the office vacant.
In June a three-judge Court of Appeals panel agreed 2-to-1 with Preston’s ruling, and in August the same three judges in another 2-to-1 vote denied a petition for rehearing. In October Hardin’s attorney filed a motion for review with the Kentucky Supreme Court, and the case is still pending. Hardin is allowed to hold the office during the appeals process.
Louisa City Attorney Eldred ‘Bud’ Adams is one of the lawyers representing Charles Hardin in the case.