The first jury trial scheduled to take place in Christian County in around a year was postponed Monday morning after the victim in the case did not appear in court despite being allegedly subpoenaed. Jury trials were postponed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Christian County Circuit Court Judge John Atkins was scheduled to hear the case of Travis Mayes, 39, who is accused of a South Vine Street shooting case in February 2020, which involved the shooting and injury of Derrell Bateman.
As the court was meant to begin jury selection for the trial Monday morning, Bateman failed to appear in court, forcing Atkins to postpone the trial for another three months.
“I’ve determined that the trial cannot proceed in the absence of the complaining witness (victim),” Atkins said to the court in a hearing. “The commonwealth has argued to the contrary and has provided some case law, which I believe is inapplicable under the circumstances, and I have, on my own motion, postponed the trial since the jury was not sworn and no witnesses were seated to testify, so the prejudicial impact of postponing the trial is minimized.”
Atkins questioned Christian County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Stephanie Bolen, who is prosecuting the case, on whether the subpoena served on Bateman had been returned to the court showing that Bateman did in fact receive the subpoena.
Bolen stated that the court “should have” received it.
Atkins said that Bolen should find out for certain if the subpoena had been returned to the court. The judge added that if the subpoena has been received by the court but the witness doesn't appear, Atkins will issue a bench warrant on Bateman for contempt for failure to comply with a properly served subpoena.
Following Atkins’ decision to postpone the trial, the judge allowed Mayes to be released from custody pending his trial in September.
Atkins then gave the court several reasons behind the decision to release Mayes, one of which was that he had spent several weeks in jail after allegedly violating his terms of release and had not since been released. Atkins previously allowed Mayes’ release pending his trial date, but was later arrested after he failed a drug screen.
“I took a chance on you and let you out, then you had a dirty drug screen and if that happens again, I’m not going to be so generous,” Atkins said to Mayes. “But, I’m going to let you back out.”
Atkins required that Mayes be put back on an ankle monitor, that he get a job while out of custody, to abide by any restrictions set by probation and parole, have no contact with anyone involved in the case and stay out of Christian County with the exception of drug testing at the Christian County Probation and Parole office.
Atkins added that Mayes may be receiving a “favorable resolution” in the future.
“Let’s not have any issues Mr. Mayes — you are potentially looking at a very favorable resolution to this case, so don’t screw it up,” Atkins said to the defendant after advising him of his conditions of release. “Pardon my language.”
Atkins rescheduled the trial to take place on Sept. 20 and 21.
According to New Era archives, Mayes is accused of shooting Bateman at around 2 p.m. Feb. 17. Hopkinsville Public Information Officer Mike Atkins said officers who were in the area heard the shots around 2 p.m. and found Bateman at the scene with a gunshot wound to the stomach.
Hopkinsville EMS took Bateman to Jennie Stuart Health where he was flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.
According to the arrest warrant for Mayes, Bateman identified Mayes as the shooter. Mayes is charged with first-degree assault.