The defense attorney for Lt. Jefferson Alexander filed a motion Wednesday asking Christian Circuit Court to dismiss a first-degree perjury charge against Alexander or disqualify Christian County Commonwealth’s Attorney Rick Boling from prosecuting the case.
According to the motion obtained by the New Era Friday, Lexington attorney Eric Eaton states, “Lt. Alexander is a casualty in Boling’s unhinged crusade to exact political revenge against (former Christian County Commonwealth’s Attorney Lynn) Pryor.”
According to New Era archives, a Christian County Grand Jury indicted Alexander, a Hopkinsville Police Department officer, for first-degree perjury last February following an FBI investigation of a 2012 case of the Commonwealth v. former city councilwoman Ann Cherry.
According to the 2019 grand jury report, Pryor questioned Alexander as a witness before the grand jury in 2012, and while sworn under oath, Alexander allegedly provided false or misleading testimony, which is a Class D felony.
What Alexander lied about is not provided in the grand jury report.
Special FBI agent Sean Miller told the grand jury in 2019 that he approached Pryor in 2017 about Alexander’s alleged false testimony, but Pryor wouldn’t go forward with the case. Miller said Pryor told him the statute of limitations to charge Alexander had passed, but it had not.
According to Alexander’s attorney, Pryor wasn’t the only prosecutor to not pursue charges against the officer.
The motion to dismiss states that Cherry filed a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice against Alexander, which led to a federal investigation into Alexander’s responses to Pryor’s questions before the 2012 grand jury in Cherry’s case.
“At the conclusion of the investigation, the evidence was presented to a federal prosecutor and former Commonwealth Attorney Pryor,” the motion states. “Both prosecutors found the evidence lacking and declined to pursue the allegations further. The investigation was closed.”
Boling presented the case against Alexander and Pryor to a grand jury last February, a few months after he beat Pryor in the election for commonwealth’s attorney, Eaton noted.
The grand jury attempted to indict Pryor on official misconduct, but the statute of limitations on the charge had passed.
The motion from Eaton states that Alexander “suffered the collateral damage from this unrelenting, unending political charade.”
“Fresh from a political victory for the Office of Christian County Commonwealth Attorney over his long-time political adversary, Pryor, Hon. Rick Boling (“Boling”) revived the closed case against Lt. Alexander seeing an opportunity to associate Pryor with the alleged conduct,” the motion states.
“Boling sought indictments against Pryor and Lt. Alexander based on the investigation. Boling’s apparent theory of the case was that Pryor and Lt. Alexander had conspired to present false evidence to the grand jury in a scheme to indict Cherry. Boling’s recent actions reflect a political agenda towards Pryor and others without boundaries,” the motion continues.
Eaton states that if Alexander’s case is not dismissed, Boling should be disqualified from prosecuting it.
The motion references the pardon letter Boling penned to former Gov. Matt Bevin, where Boling alleges that Pryor was “controlled” by the Democratic Party while prosecuting Dayton Jones.
“The recent conduct undertaken by Boling on behalf of his public office highlights the political motivations underlying his prosecution of this case,” the motion states. “There is no illusion about the highly partisan, personal vendetta Boling has towards Pryor and, by extension, Lt. Alexander. Boling’s animosity is now known to most everyone in Kentucky who has watched the news on television or read a newspaper the past few weeks.”
In the argument for the dismissal, Eaton cites the case Keeling v. the Commonwealth, which states that “outrageous government conduct could taint evidence irrevocably, or prejudice a defendant’s case on the merits such that notions of due process and fundamental, fairness would preclude reindictment.”
The motion goes on to reference KRS 15.733(2), which explains that “a prosecuting attorney shall disqualify himself in any proceeding where he has an interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome.” It also references another section of 15.733, that “any prosecuting attorney may be disqualified by the court in which the proceeding is presently pending, upon a showing of actual prejudice.”
The motion states that Alexander has been “prejudiced by Boling’s weaponization of his public office.”
The motion is set to be heard Wednesday morning in Christian Circuit Court Division II.