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Ky. lawmaker seeks impeachment of Christian Co. prosecutor

Rick Boling
Kentucky Bar Association

A resolution filed in the General Assembly cites complaints of Boling's conduct in the Dayton Jones pardon and in another criminal case.

A state lawmaker filed a resolution Wednesday seeking an impeachment inquiry of Commonwealth’s Attorney Rick Boling, of Christian County.

The resolution — filed by Rep. Jason Nemes, of Louisville — cites complaints of Boling’s conduct in two criminal cases. Those complaints are detailed in Nemes’ resolution and in a Dec. 7 report to the Kentucky Supreme Court by a trial commissioner who recommended that Boling be suspended from practicing law for five years. (The supreme court case is pending.)

The first case stems from a letter Boling wrote in December 2019 to then-Gov. Matt Bevin seeking a pardon for Dayton Jones, of Hopkinsville, who pleaded guilty to sodomy and wanton endangerment charges in a case involving a 15-year-old boy. The boy was sodomized with a sex toy and needed surgery to save his life after his bowel was perforated. He was passed out from drinking when Jones inserted the sex toy into him.

Boling, at the request of Jones’ grandmother, Jackie Jones, wrote to ask Bevin for a pardon. Boling relayed the grandmother’s claim that Dayton Jones was convicted because of politics, stating in his letter to the governor that “Jones’ biggest problem is that the Democratic Party controlled the prosecutor, the judge he stood before and Jones’ own attorney.”

Bevin commuted Jones’ sentence from Christian Circuit Court, although he was charged again in federal court and convicted.

But Boling admitted this “his claims were untrue and he gave no grounds to support the claims,” the trial commissioner, Roderick Messer, wrote in his report recommending suspension.

Messer also looked into a case in which Boling was accused of misleading a jury in the arson and attempted murder case against defendant Karen Brafman. The Kentucky Supreme Court reversed Brafman’s conviction, “due to flagrant prosecutorial misconduct” by Boling during the April 2019 trial.

During a lunch recess in the trial, a conversation between Boling and Kentucky State Police Detective Scott Steward was recorded in which Boling was heard telling the police officer why he didn’t ask him questions before the jury that would have revealed Brafman’s intoxication during the fire that resulted in the criminal case against her. He wanted to avoid mentioning the defendant’s intoxication.

In his report, Messer wrote, “After lunch, the trial judge heard arguments regarding jury instruction. Defense counsel requested a voluntary intoxication instruction based on Brafman’s testimony that she had been awake for five days, was taking methamphetamine and ecstasy, was drinking and had not been taking her medication. [Boling] opposed the instruction, stating there was insufficient evidence to prove voluntary intoxication. The trial court did not give the instruction.”

Boling then told the jury during his closing argument that “no one had testified that Brafman appeared to be ‘under the influence, intoxicated, drugged or anything,’” Messer wrote. “[Boling] went on to tell the jury that neither Detective Steward nor any another [sic] officer said Brafman appeared to be intoxicated.”

Boling was the second commonwealth’s attorney named this week in a resolution from Nemes seeking impeachment. The other prosecutor is Ronnie Goldy Jr., who serves in Bath, Menifee, Montgomery and Rowan counties.

Goldy “exchanged hundreds of Facebook messages with a defendant, allegedly promising to do favors in court in exchange for nude images of her,” the Louisville Courier-Journal reported.

The Kentucky Supreme Court suspended Goldy from practicing law in September but the court said he could only be removed from office through impeachment by the Kentucky legislature, the Courier-Journal wrote.

Both Boling and Goldy were previously expelled from the Kentucky Commonwealth’s Attorneys’ Association.

The impeachment resolutions will go to a committee to determine if there is sufficient reason to go into impeachment proceedings. If the committee agrees to forward a case, the House would vote on impeachment and send it to the Senate for trial.

Nemes chairs the House Impeachment Committee, according to his Legislative Research Commission profile. 

This story was originally published by the Hoptown Chronicle.

Jennifer P. Brown is the founder and editor of Hoptown Chronicle.
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