Second hearing granted for murder suspect

October 19, 2003|PHIL PENDLETON

LANCASTER - A second pre-trial hearing has been granted for Danny Dwight Poff, who is charged in the June 19 murder of Burdette Earls and beating of Sandra Jernigan.

Garrard Circuit Judge Hunter Daugherty granted the request for an Oct. 28 hearing after Poff's attorney, George Sornberger, said he wanted the court to hear from two witnesses before a trial date is set.

"I have subpoenaed two witnesses, "he told Judge Daugherty during Friday afternoon's pre-trial hearing in Garrard Circuit Court.

Poff, 22, of Carmens Spur in Liberty, was indicted in July on capital murder, first-degree robbery, burglary and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon charges. Earls, 65, died from a blow to the head from a large rock, according to Fayette County Deputy Coroner Miles White. Jernigan, 43, was allegedly assaulted in the incident at Earl's home on Harmon's Lick Road.

A juvenile was also arrested by Kentucky State Police and while police have not identified him, the indictment states that Poff acted "alone or in complicity with John Dyer."


Poff's family said John Dyer, 17, is Poff's girlfriend's brother.

At one point during the short hearing, Sornberger asked if Jernigan was present in the courtroom. He was answered with silence.

After the June 19 incident, Jernigan was arrested on charges of a felony offense of probation violation. She was released from the Casey County jail on Aug. 6, according to a spokesperson at the jail in Liberty. Sornberger also requested that Marshall Smith, a probation officer in Casey County, be present for the Oct. 28 hearing.

Poff appeared in court Friday in an orange jumpsuit from the Lincoln County Regional Jail. He was incarcerated in Lincoln County after his July 21 arrest, but was transferred to the Correctional Psychiatric Treatment Unit at the Kentucky State Reformatory in LaGrange after an Aug. 18 suicide attempt at the Lincoln jail. He currently remains in jail without bond.

Commonwealth Attorney Thomas Lockridge said a motion has been made to set bond in the case.

"I want a hearing on that as well," Sornberger said.

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