Court filing alleges misconduct by judge in Marshall County HS shooting
That shooting on Jan. 23 resulted in the deaths of two students and gunshot wounds to 18 other students.
Paxton Media Group filed a petition for writ mandamus or prohibition Tuesday with the Kentucky Court of Appeals. A writ of mandamus directs a public official or government department to take action.
The court filing claims Marshall County Circuit Judge Jamie Jameson improperly interfered with efforts to prosecute 15-year-old shooting suspect Gabriel Parker. The filing also claims Judge Jameson illegally closed Parker’s arraignment last Friday and sealed records to hide his actions.
Last week, we reported Jameson closed Parker’s arraignment despite a request made by Paxton Media Group. Jim Paxton, editor and publisher of The Paducah Sun, explained the issue evolved later that weekend. He told Local 6: “Over the weekend our reporters in Marshall County discovered some information as we were pursuing more information about what went on during the closed hearing. And we developed information that came to me Saturday and Sunday, some of it in writing.”
The court filing claims Jameson is acquainted with the suspect’s mother and appointed a public defender for Parker, despite having no legal authority to do so. PMG alleges Jameson contacted a detective and tried to stop the detective’s interview with Parker. The filing goes on to say Jameson also tried to justify his efforts on Parker’s behalf in Friday’s closed hearing.
Paxton said, while he wrestled with the idea, he considered the victims of the shooting. He questioned: “What is the right thing to do here? Because here’s where we are: You know, we got kids who were killed and we’ve got other kids who’ve been disfigured for life. And we got a whole bunch of other kids who the best years of their lives have been taken from them by this. And those people are just morally, and by the Constitution, entitled to a public, a fair, and impartial prosecution of this case.”
“That’s why we filed this action,” Paxton said. “That’s our only motive in filing this action.”
Paxton Media Group is asking the Court of Appeals to override Jameson’s actions in closing the arraignment and sealing the records.
We have reached out to Jameson and Commonwealth Attorney Mark Blankenship, who is prosecuting the case. We have not heard back from them.
We will let you know when the court makes a ruling.
You can read a copy of the writ mandamus by clicking here.
Note: A previous version of this web story stated the petition alleges Judge Jameson of “gross misconduct.” This came from a draft version of the petition. The final copy uses the term “serious misconduct.” We have corrected the term to reflect this change in this web story.