Prosecutor Accused of Withholding Evidence Replaced in Cadiz Murder Trial
Commonwealth Attorney G.L. Ovey has turned over a 2002 Cadiz murder case to special prosecutor Tim Coleman.
Last month, Ovey filed a motion to recuse himself as prosecutor in the trial of Claude Russell, who's accused of killing Chantell Humphries.
Defense attorney John Stewart had filed a motion to dismiss the case based on an independent investigation conducted by Trigg County Sheriff Ray Burnam. Ovey said Burnam’s investigation implies he withheld evidence and stepped down because he could be called as a witness.
“Ray Burnam is the duly elected sheriff of Trigg County and as such, he’s entitled to the respect that any elected office holder is entitled to,” Ovey said. “And no one is saying don’t receive information somebody gives you regarding this case or any other case. But if there’s another agency involved, and that agency has been involved as lead agency, and has been for 10 years, just share your information.”
Ovey said Burnam's accusations are based on rumor and hearsay.
A mistrial had previously been declared in 2012.
The trial is set to resume in August, but Ovey speculates that date will be pushed back as Coleman readies himself to try the case.