Keith Griffith preliminary hearing, another date set

Keith Griffith will stay in jail. He’s accused of killing his wife last year then setting fire to their house.

Griffith was in court on Friday for a preliminary hearing- this after Judge Tim Kaltenbach declared a mistrial from his trial in February. While both the prosecution and defense are working toward another trial, we’ll have to wait until March 30th for another hearing and a definitive word on his bond being reduced and the future of his Reidland home.

Before his preliminary hearing, Public Defender Chris McNeill spoke with Griffith. The judge heard two motions and and set one date, “There’s a motion for a bond hearing and a motion for the county attorney to address the court.”

Judge Kaltenbach will either allow or deny McCracken County Attorney Sam Clymer to speak in court about demolishing the Reidland home. Clymer filed the motion to act as McCracken county’s lawyer.  You can view that motion here. Clymer says because he’s not one of the prosecutors that’s handling the felony case, he has to file a motion. But his motivation is the home’s nuisance and danger to neighbors and others, “Kids see a structure like that it’s going to be real fun to mess around and do some exploring” says Clymer.

While defense says the judge has already made this decision, and the house needs to stand until this second trial ends. McNeill says, “I understand the needs and desires of people living in the area of that house, but on the other hand you have a man who the government is trying to execute after he gets convicted and those two are competing concerns.”

A final decision on the future of the Reidland home is expected later this month.

There was a question about the issue of appointing additional public defenders and delaying trial. Chris McNeill has been appointed as Keith Griffith’s lawyer and public defender now. There’s a backlog on additional help public defenders who specialize in trials involving the death penalty.

In terms of adjusting Griffith’s bond from $1 million to $100,000, that will also be heard March 30th.

During court, they also discussed the issue of evidence. The Commonwealth’s evidence is sitting in the judge’s office now. But both prosecution and defense agreed considering the time this case is taking, the evidence could be moved and housed in the Sheriff’s Office. I spoke with the Sheriff and he says this won’t affect anything in his office.

If the judge rules to demolish the house, the County Attorney says Griffith’s home insurance provider will cover the cost.

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