The trial of the man accused in the death of a police officer has moved to Warren County

The trial of the man accused in the death of a police officer has moved to Warren County

November 1 – On the first anniversary of the death of London police officer Logan Medlock, the trial venue for the man accused of killing him is changed.

Casey Preston Byrd, 37, of Oneida, Tennessee, appeared before Laurel Circuit Judge Greg Lay on Monday, at which time his trial was scheduled to be held in Bowling Green.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Jackie Steele said the change of venue was made at the suggestion of Byrd’s attorney, Jeremy Brantley, and the state’s attorney’s office did not object.

“The rules (for changing venue) make you look at neighboring counties, which would be Knox County,” Steele said. “But the extensive media coverage this case received from local newspapers, the Mountain News and even the Lexington News made it necessary to look to other areas. I believe one news outlet did a live broadcast of the funeral procession that was about 40 minutes long. With that coverage, it was We have to look east, west and north. Whitley County is the only southern district and it was clear that we could not find an unbiased jury in Laurel County or surrounding counties.”

Steele added that the search to find an area where media coverage was less extensive was comprehensive.

“We looked west, to Casey and Adair counties, but they also get their news from Lexington. The northern counties get their news from Lexington, and there was extensive media coverage — the Mountain News was here (Monday) and it was clear that we’re not going to find a jury,” he said. neutral in this field.”

“Bowling Green gets its news from Nashville, so media coverage hasn’t been as extensive there,” Steele added. “We didn’t think there would be a problem getting an impartial jury or getting fair parity among the residents there.”

Byrd’s trial is set for April 16 in Warren County Circuit Court.

The change of venue moves the trial to western Kentucky, but will keep Steele as prosecutor and Laurel Circuit Judge Greg Lay to hear the case.

“We keep the same judge and attorneys, we just have to travel to Bowling Green for the trial,” he explained.

Byrd was charged with murder of a police officer after two vehicles collided at the intersection of Barbourville Avenue (KY 229) and South Main Street in London around 1 a.m. on October 30, 2022. Byrd’s Dodge Ram pickup truck struck Medlock’s police cruiser on the driver’s side, knocking The two cars off the road and into AR Dyche Cemetery. Medlock was pronounced dead at the scene.

Testimony at Byrd’s preliminary hearing revealed that he was driving 51 mph in a 35 mph zone when he ran a red light at the intersection and struck Medlock’s cruiser. He was also unsteady on his feet and smelled strongly of alcoholic beverages. Forensic testing showed Byrd’s blood alcohol level was 0.293 — nearly 4 times the legal limit in Kentucky. He was also found in possession of a substance believed to be methadone.

Byrd’s attorney requested a reduction in bail during the preliminary hearing last November, which the judge denied. Byrd has remained in custody at the Laurel County Correctional Center since his arrest, and was being held on a cash bond of less than $1 million.

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