Court update

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Pending cases will see pre-trial conferences soon

By Taylor Riley

The end of August and September could see pre-trial conferences of a few major pending cases in the Oldham County Circuit Court.

Gail Kelley

Gail Kelley, a Pewee Valley woman accused of killing her boyfriend with a hatchet, was last seen at a pre-trial conference. Her trial date, originally set for Feb. 2014, was changed due to due to changes in personnel at the local public defender’s office, which represents Kelley.
In a previous Era report, Commonwealth Attorney Courtney Baxter said while sympathetic to changes at the public defender’s office, it’s throwing the trial schedule into disarray.
Circuit Court Judge Karen Conrad said she understood the issues of each side, with the frustrating changes for the prosecutor as well as the need for a well-informed defense for Kelley.
Kelley is charged with murder, tampering with physical evidence and being a persistent felony offender in regards to the death of Michael T. Evans, her boyfriend at the time. According to police records, Kelley allegedly struck Evans in the head with a hatchet on July 6, 2013 and then tried to hide the hatchet in a towel, according to the previous Era report.
Kelley is scheduled to appear for another pre-trial conference on Aug. 20 at 1 p.m. Her trial is scheduled for Nov. 2.

Richard Johnson

Richard Wayne Johnson, a former Oldham County EMS employee, was indicted and pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of child pornography and other sex crimes in December 2013.
Johnson, of La Grange, was first arrested by Kentucky State Police on Sept.17, 2013 and charged him with 14 counts of possession of child pornography. In court, KSP detectives said they found hundreds of images on Johnson’s computer and phone of young children performing sex acts.
Johnson was indicted in Dec. 2013 on one count of incest, one count of second degree sodomy, eight counts of first degree sexual abuse, one count of distribution of obscene matter to a minor, two counts of distribution of child pornography and 12 counts of possession of child pornography, according to a previous Era report.
Johnson will appear in the Oldham County Circuit Court on Aug. 20 at 1 p.m. for a pre-trial conference relating to the sexual charges. His trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 14 at 9 a.m.

Michael Berry

Michael P. Berry, 36, was indicted in April 2014 on three counts of sexual abuse after being arrested by KSP in March 2014.
According to the police report obtained by the Era, Berry admitted to a KSP officer that he committed sexual abuse of a female minor during a two-week period at his Oldham County home in late February 2014.
An interview with the victim matched what Berry told KSP, which resulted in his arrest, according to a previous Era report.
At a pre-trial hearing in July 2014, Berry’s public defender, Shelley Brown, requested more time to discuss the plea deal with Berry, as well as to get the necessary information from the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services about the case.
Berry’s pre-trial conference is scheduled for Sept. 3 at 9 a.m. His trial is scheduled for Oct. 26.
The Era will continue to keep you updated about these pending cases in future editions.