Monthly Archives: March 2020

3/26 Weekly Circuit Court Reports

From the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney. Please see our Circuit Court Reports page at louisvilleprosecutor.com/circuit-court-reports for more information and archives.

All report titles link to PDF documents:

KENTUCKY COURT OF JUSTICE RESPONSE TO COVID-19 EMERGENCY

PDF download of this document

UPDATE: This has been superseded by order 2020-16.

Supreme Court of Kentucky
2020-09
AMENDED ORDER
IN RE: KENTUCKY COURT OF JUSTICE RESPONSE TO COVID-19 EMERGENCY

On March 6, 2020, Governor Beshear entered Executive Order 2020-215 and declared a State of Emergency in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency in the Commonwealth. In light of this measure and to protect the health and safety of court employees, elected officials, and the general public, and under Section 116 of the Constitution and Supreme Court Rule 1.010, the Supreme Court hereby ORDERS the following measures to be implemented from Monday, March 16, to Friday, April 10, 2020:

  1. With the exception of emergency and time-sensitive matters, including but not limited to, domestic violence hearings, emergency custody hearings, evidentiary hearings in criminal cases, in-custody arraignments, in-custody preliminary hearings under RCr 3.10, in-custody bond motions, and in-custody probation violation hearings, all in-person appearances for civil and criminal dockets shall be canceled. Judges are encouraged to use telephonic or video technology for all necessary hearings, including arraignments and mental-health hearings.
  2. All civil trials, hearings, and motions shall be postponed and rescheduled for a later date. Any civil trial or hearing currently in progress shall be continued or completed at the discretion of the presiding judge.
  3. Reasonable attempts shall be made to reschedule all criminal trials, subject to a defendant’s right to a speedy trial.
  4. With the exception of emergency matters and hearings statutorily required to be held, small claims, eviction, juvenile, probate, traffic, and guardianship cases shall be continued.
  5. Courtroom attendance shall be limited to attorneys, parties, and necessary witnesses.
  6. A case involving an attorney or party who is ill or in a high-risk category shall be rescheduled.
  7. Judges shall issue summonses in lieu of bench warrants or notices of
    failure to appear.
  8. All show cause dockets for payment of fines and court costs scheduled
    within this timeframe shall be continued for 60 days.
  9. The 20-day preliminary hearing requirement for out-of-custody
    defendants under RCr 3.10 is waived during the effective dates of this
    Order.
  10. Jurors who are ill, caring for someone who is ill, or in a high-risk
    category shall have their jury service postponed to a later date.
  11. New juror orientations shall be suspended.
  12. Existing jury panels may be extended at the discretion of the court.
  13. Attorneys are encouraged to use e-Filing.
  14. Drop boxes should be used for conventionally filed documents if
    available.
  15. Signage shall be posted at all public entry points advising individuals
    not to enter the building if they have:
    a. In the previous 14 days, visited China, Iran, South Korea, any European countries, or any other high-risk countries identified by the CDC;
    b. Resided with or been in close contact with someone who has been
    in any of those countries within the previous 14 days;
    c. Traveled domestically within the United States where COVID-19
    has sustained widespread community transmission;
    d. Been asked to self-quarantine by any doctor, hospital, or health
    agency;
    e. Been diagnosed with or have had contact with anyone who has
    been diagnosed with COVID-19; or
    f. A fever, cough or shortness of breath.
  16. Individuals attempting to enter in violation of these protocols shall be
    denied entrance by a bailiff or court security officer.
  17. Bailiffs shall discourage congregating outside courtroom doors and
    encourage social distancing inside the courtroom.
  18. Individuals with legitimate court business who are ill, caring for
    someone who is ill or in a high-risk category are advised to stay home
    and request a continuance by calling the local Office of Circuit Court
    Clerk.

Nothing in this Order shall preclude the chief district and chief circuit judges from implementing additional local restrictions as needed. This Order shall be effective from March 16, 2020, to April 10, 2020, or until further Order of this Court.

Entered this 13th day of March 2020.

Signed, CHIEF JUSTICE John Minton

All sitting; all concur.


Changes from 2020-08 (PDF of original) order:

Section 1 original: With the exception of emergency matters, domestic violence hearings, and evidentiary hearings in criminal cases, all in-person appearances for civil and criminal dockets shall be canceled. Judges are encouraged to use telephonic or video technology for all necessary hearings, including arraignments and mental health hearings.

Section 15a original: Visited China, Iran, South Korea, any European countries, or any other high-risk countries identified by the CDC in the previous 14 days;


3/11 Media Release

PDF download of this document

OFFICE OF THE COMMONWEALTH’S ATTORNEY
COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY
30th JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
THOMAS B. WINE, COMMONWEALTH’S ATTORNEY

Media Release: March 9-13, 2020

Attention: Assignment Editor
Director of Communications: Jeff Cooke
Office: (502) 595-2340 Ext. 3027
Cell / Text: (502) 262-5809
E-mail: jcooke@louisvilleprosecutor.com

NOTE: These represent only a few of the many cases which the Office of Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney is handling. If you have any comments, or need further information concerning these or any other matters please do not hesitate to call. An indictment is only an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until or unless found guilty. The enclosed court actions are subject to change.

According to the Rules of Criminal Procedure (RCr 3.02, 3.05, and 8.01), the arraignment of individuals whose case has been submitted directly to the grand jury shall take place within a reasonable time after the return of an indictment. If you are interested in a case that has been submitted directly to the grand jury, then please contact the court division in which it has been assigned to obtain the time and date of the arraignment.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

Thomas B. Wine, Commonwealth’s Attorney, is pleased to announce that his office will be participating in the 4th Annual Kentucky Legal Food Frenzy from March 1 to March 14, 2020. The Food Frenzy is a statewide fund drive competition among Kentucky law firms, law schools and legal organizations to support the members of the Kentucky Association of Food Banks.

The campaign is sponsored by the office of Attorney General Daniel Cameron and the Kentucky Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.

Over 700,000 Kentuckians, including more than 200,000 children, struggle with hunger. Yet only one in 13 school-aged children who receive free and reduced-priced lunch during the school year have access to such meals during the summer months. The Legal Food Frenzy is timed to provide a much-needed supply of resources to Kentucky’s food bank network to meet increased demand during the summer months when schools are closed. Last year over 1,800 attorneys licensed in Kentucky competed for the grand prize, the Attorney General’s Cup. Frost Brown Todd, LLC won the competition by raising the equivalent of 42,315 pounds of food. The Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office topped the charts for Government and Public Service, raising the equivalent of 40,076 pounds of food.

Every $1 contributed will count as 8 pounds of food for the competition. The Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney will be collecting donations. To learn more please contact Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Madison Shoffner at mshoffner@louisvilleprosecutor.com or visit KyFoodFrenzy.com. Online donations are welcomed and encouraged at https://kyfoodfrenzy.com/donate/.   Please be sure to note Commonwealth’s Attorney’s OfficeJefferson County as the Designated Organization.

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS

Scott Patrick Kennedy – 17CR1429 (Murder, Possession of a Handgun by a Convicted Felon, Assault in the Second Degree, Wanton Endangerment in the First Degree, Fleeing or Evading Police in the First Degree, Criminal Mischief in the First Degree)

  • Mr. Kennedy (DOB 10/18/67) was charged with the shooting death of Mr. Michael Bosse that occurred on May 6, 2017. On May 9, 2017, Mr. Kennedy was apprehended on the Lincoln Bridge after leading the police on a high speed chase. A Jury Trial began on March 3, 2020 and concluded the following week by the Jury convicting Mr. Kennedy of all charges. The Jury recommended a Life Sentence for his crimes. Final Sentencing is scheduled for April 16, 2020 at 9:15 a.m. in Division 13 of Jefferson Circuit Court. Milja Zgonjanin is the prosecutor.

Carlos D. James- 19CR0178 (Trafficking in Opiates (10 Dosage Units or More), Illegal Use or Possession of Drug Paraphernalia)

  • Mr. James (04/17/90) entered a guilty plea the above charges on March 2, 2020. The Commonwealth will be recommending a 10 year sentence to serve at Final Sentencing, which is scheduled for April 22, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. in Division 10 of Jefferson Circuit Court. Ebert Haegele is the prosecutor.

Brandon A. Johnson – 18CR1385 (Murder, Possession of a Handgun by a Convicted Felon, Receiving Stolen Firearm, Tampering with Physical Evidence, Persistent Felony Offender in the First Degree)

  • Mr. Johnson (DOB 11/08/90) was indicted in connection with the April 28, 2018 killing of Mr. Dwayne Sensley in the vicinity of the 1700 block of St. Louis Avenue. A pretrial conference was conducted March 5, 2020 and a Jury Trial date is currently scheduled for April 20, 2020. Prior to trial, the Court is expected to rule on the Defendant’s motions to dismiss the charges against him, in which he claims immunity from prosecution and argues that Kentucky’s law against Receiving Stolen Firearms is unconstitutionally vague. The Commonwealth objects to both contentions. A final pretrial conference will be held on April 15, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. in advance of the Jury Trial scheduled for April 20, 2020 in Division 2 of Jefferson Circuit Court. Kaleb Noblett is the prosecutor

PRETRIAL CONFERENCES

Raheem Hardin – 18CR3431 (Murder, Tampering with Physical Evidence, Fleeing or Evading Police)

  • Mr. Hardin (DOB 01/10/95) is charged with the November 15, 2018 shooting death of Dewayne Davis in the Shively neighborhood. A pretrial conference is scheduled for March 12, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. in Division 2 of Jefferson Circuit Court. Josh Porter and Elizabeth Jessee are the prosecutors.

Robert Carnell Hood, Jr. – 20CR0355 (Murder, Fetal Homicide in the First Degree)

  • Mr. Hood (DOB 03/29/86) is charged with the November 27, 2019 shooting death of Kayla Smith outside her home. At the time of her death, Ms. Smith was in her third trimester of pregnancy. A pretrial conference is scheduled for March 13, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. in Division 7 of Jefferson Circuit Court. Madison Shoffner is the prosecutor.

Daniel Avis – 19CR3373 (Possession of a Handgun by a Convicted Felon, Wanton Endangerment in the First Degree, and Theft by Unlawful Taking under $500)

  • Mr. Avis (DOB 01/28/88) is charged with entering the Cash Saver at 501 Mt Holly Road and selecting merchandise from the store, passing all points of sale without paying for the merchandise on October 3, 2019. On that same day, while on Farmers Lane and National Turnpike, Mr. Avis pulled up next to a woman’s car and pointed a handgun at the woman.  Mr. Avis then stopped his vehicle and approached the woman. He accused her of kidnapping his girlfriend and waved the handgun around erratically creating a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to the woman. The woman was a stranger to Mr. Avis. Mr. Avis is a convicted felon. A first Pretrial Conference was held on March 10, 2020 and a second Pretrial Conference is scheduled for May 21, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. in Division 1 of Jefferson Circuit Court.  Emily Wessel is the prosecutor.

Brice Jamar Rhodes – 16CR1891 (Murder [Three Counts], Tampering with Physical Evidence, Abuse of a Corpse [Two Counts], Receiving Stolen Property)

  • Mr. Rhodes (DOB 09/8/90) is charged with the May 4, 2016, murder of Christopher Jones on the 800 block of 41st Street, and the May 22, 2016, murder of two children, sixteen-year-old Maurice Gordon and fourteen-year-old Larry Ordway, at 763 N. Hite Avenue.  He is also charged with attempting to dispose of evidence related to this case and of attempting to burn the bodies of the victims, which were discovered in the rear of 4028 River Park Drive.  In addition to these charges, Mr. Rhodes is also indicted in case number 16CR3045 on charges of Intimidating a Participant in the Legal Process and Terroristic Threatening in the Third Degree.  A Pretrial Conference was held on March 10, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. and a Jury Trial is currently scheduled for July 31, 2020 in Division 4 of Jefferson Circuit Court.  Elizabeth Jones Brown is the prosecutor.

William T. Truss – 12CR1417 (Murder [Two Counts])

  • Mr. Truss (DOB 06/14/68) is charged in connection to the murders of Menchester Bray and Derek Slade on April 29th 2012. A Pretrial Conference is scheduled for March 18, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. in Division 9 of Jefferson Circuit Court. Ebert Haegele is the prosecutor.

Steven Richard Guy & Tiffany Rene Taylor – 19CR1260 (Murder, Robbery in the First Degree, Kidnapping, Trafficking in Marijuana (More than 8 Ounces), Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, Theft by Unlawful Taking over $500, Tampering with Physical Evidence

  • Mr. Guy (DOB 01/21/94) and Ms. Taylor (DOB 07/28/88) are charged with the April 25, 2019 shooting death of Charles Johns on West Market Street. A pretrial conference was held on March 11, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. and a hearing on the defendants’ competency to stand trial will be held on May 4, 2020 at 10:15 a.m. in Division 12 of Jefferson Circuit Court. Josh Porter and Andrew Daley are the prosecutors.

Williams Harris – 19CR2501 (Assault in the First Degree, Robbery in the First Degree, Possession of a Handgun by a Convicted Felon, Wanton Endangerment in the First Degree [Two Counts], Receiving Stolen Property over $500 but Less than $10,000, Fleeing or Evading Police in the First Degree (Motor Vehicle), Fleeing or Evading Police in the Second Degree, Disregarding a Traffic Control Device, Disregarding a Stop Sign)

  • Mr. Harris (DOB 12/22/80) while already wanted by police on Murder charges from events occurring on July 11th, 2019, engaged in additional serious crimes under this second indictment: On July 23rd 2019, he lured a victim to an off-ramp near 64 exit 17.  The victim believed he was helping put gas in the defendant’s vehicle which was pulled off to the roadside. Harris’ vehicle was in fact stolen.  However, once the good Samaritan was at the scene, he was struck in the head by the defendant who then pointed a handgun at him and robbed him of his car. Accomplices then drove off in the truck leaving the victim both injured and stranded.  Then on July 29th, 2019, while the defendant was driving the stolen vehicle, police observed him and initiated their emergency equipment. Harris refused to stop. In flight, he steamed through stop signs and red lights with impunity. As Harris plowed through the intersection of Garland Avenue/Louis Coleman Jr. Drive he struck a civilian vehicle traveling southbound with a green light.  The defendant struck the driver’s side door causing the innocent driver to be fully ejected from his vehicle.  Meanwhile, the defendant, still not yet done running, fled from the police on foot and after a foot chase was eventually detained. The victims were taken immediately to the University of Louisville Hospital Emergency Room where it was determined that the driver had serious and life-threatening physical injury.  The first pretrial conference for Mr. Harris is Wednesday, March 11th, 2020, at 10:00 am in Jefferson County Circuit Court Division 1. A Jury Trial is currently scheduled for May 20, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. also in Division 1. Critt Cunningham is the prosecutor.

Michelle Sarvis  – 19CR2948 (Murder, Robbery in the First Degree, tampering with Physical Evidence)

  • Ms. Sarvis (DOB 11/27/62) is charged in connection to the murder of Kevin Hellems on October 11, 2019 at 3219 Pomeroy Drive. A Pretrial Conference was held on March 10, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. and an additional Pretrial Conference is scheduled for May 18, 2020 at 10:15 a.m. in Division 5 of Jefferson Circuit Court. Ebert Haegele is the prosecutor.

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