PADUCAH, Ky. (Paducah Sun) - After controversy regarding the judge handling the case against 15-year-old Gabe Parker, accused of killing two students at Marshall County High School earlier this year, the Paducah Sun reports that the judge will not be removed from the case.
The prosecutor in the highly publicized trial expressed his disappointment that Circuit Judge James Jameson will continue to hear the case.
The controversy began after a motion was made asking a special judge to be appointed. Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Jacob Ford says his office made the request in the case involving Parker. He is being tried as an adult in the Jan. 23 shooting that killed 15-year-olds Bailey Holt and Preston Cope, and injured 18 others.
Jameson currently is overseeing the case, but local media outlet WPSD's owner Paxton Media Group has submitted court filings accusing him of serious misconduct. They also accused Jameson of knowing the suspect's mother.
The filings claim Jameson improperly interfered with efforts to prosecute Parker, illegally closed his arraignment and held an illegal meeting aimed at returning the case to juvenile court.
According to the paper, an impromptu meeting on a chaotic morning led to the controversial appointment of a public defender for accused Marshall County High School shooter Gabe Parker without objection from prosecutors, according to Marshall County Commonwealth's Attorney Mark Blankenship. The legality of that appointment was called into question in an order by Kentucky Chief Justice John Minton Wednesday, although Minton decided it was not, standing alone, reason to disqualify Jameson from continuing to hear the case.
The appointment and a related text about it from Jameson to authorities who had been questioning Parker after the shooting formed the basis of a filing by Blankenship last week seeking to have him replaced by a special judge.
In an interview Wednesday, Blankenship said he was disappointed Jameson was not replaced in the matter.
Blankenship elaborated on the events surrounding the decisions in the case which he used to argue for replacing Jameson. They include Jameson's appointment of a defense attorney before formal prosecution had begun and sending a text message that has been interpreted as an attempt to stop a detective from interviewing Parker.
Prosecutors tell the paper they will continue to vigorously prosecute Parker.
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