Whitley County seeks to bridge gap between district and circuit courts

Because of jurisdictional issues, felony cases in Kentucky can’t be resolved in the local district court. They must be moved to the circuit court for prosecution at the state level. This means that not only is there a new court, but a new prosecutor to try the case for the Commonwealth. That causes massive disconnects in cases with some defendants not being prosecuted properly or in a prompt fashion. Some defendants may not have been prosecuted at all.

The Whitley County court system is seeking to remedy this situation by swearing in three assistant county attorney as assistant Commonwealth attorneys. This means that if a case needs to be moved from the district court to the circuit. The same prosecutor will be able handle it.

Joshua Price, John Reynolds, and Aaron Howard were all sworn in on Monday to the Commonwealth attorney's office.

This remedy is unique to Whitley County, never having been done before as a matter of course. In some cases, some attorneys have moved from one court to the other for short periods, but not as part of a policy to effect change.

The Whitley County prosecutorial systems has been doing well for the last three years, in spite of the COVID pandemic, but they see this move as a way to ensure that cases are handled in timely manner to provide the public with safety and the accused with their Constitutionally guaranteed speedy trial.

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