Michael Carneal


On Black Friday, Kentuckians headed to stores to purchase the typical tablets, televisions and toys.

But for some, firearms were the hot item.

On that single day, more than 13,000 firearm background checks were processed in Kentucky, according to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. That’s just a small sample of the number of background checks conducted for the purpose of selling firearms in the state.

A federal appeals court panel is considering whether Heath High School gunman Michael Carneal should be allowed to take back his guilty plea and get a trial.

Carneal was 14 in 1997 when he shot and killed three classmates and wounded more. Carneal has schizophrenia and is arguing that he wasn't mentally competent to plead guilty to the shooting at the time.

A federal appeals court moved a hearing date for Michael Carneal, who was convicted of the 1997 Heath High School shootings. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has moved the hearing from Oct. 10 to Dec. 5. They will decide if Carneal waited too long to withdraw his guilty plea. A federal judge in Paducah ruled last year that Carneal could have acted sooner. Carneal is serving life in prison for killing three Heath High School classmates and wounding five others.  He will be eligible for parole after 25 years.