Kelly arraigned on manslaughter charges from Perryville Road crash

Published 11:21 am Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Kendra Peek/
Joseph Kelly, 42, via video, was arraigned on Tuesday.

A man accused of causing a head-on crash that killed the other driver was arraigned via video in the Boyle County District Court Tuesday.

Joseph Kelly, 42, entered a not guilty plea to charges of second-degree manslaughter and operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The plea, standard for a first appearance, was entered by lawyer Kathryn Walton, who was there on behalf of Kelly’s attorney, Jim Lowery. Kelly was arraigned through video while being held in the Boyle County Detention Center.

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Kelly’s preliminary hearing will be 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 19. District Court Judge Jeff Dotson said that date is outside of the standard window for preliminary hearings of 10 to 20 days after the initial appearance. A defendant is usually to be discharged from custody if the preliminary hearing doesn’t fall in that window, unless the defendant consents to an extension. Walton said Kelly would waive the rule.

Kelly’s charges stem from a Sept. 27 crash on Perryville Road. According to Danville Police, Kelly was traveling westbound on Perryville Road near the Boyle County High School, when his vehicle crossed the center line and struck a truck driven by Linda Gill, 63, of Lancaster. Gill was killed instantly, according to officials.

Kelly is believed to have been under the influence of alcohol or narcotics, according to police. He was transported to Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center for treatment, where he was arrested on Sept. 29.

A second passenger in Gill’s vehicle, Alma Steinhauer, 46, of California, Kentucky, was able to get out of the vehicle on her own and was treated for minor injuries.

Judge Dotson inquired about a bond. A pretrial officer told him they believed he could be released on his own recognizance because of a low risk level. County Attorney Lynne Dean objected.

Dean explained after the arraignment that she believes, based on the charges he faces and his history, Kelly is a danger to the community and a potential flight risk.

Kendra Peek/
Joseph Kelly, 42, via video, was arraigned on Tuesday.

Walton said Kelly would not make a bond request at this time. Kelly remains lodged in the Boyle County Detention Center.

Dean also explained after court that the reason Kelly is facing a manslaughter charge is that the situation “clearly fits the manslaughter statute,” which is KRS 507.040.

When the Danville Police Department posted about Kelly’s arrest and charges on their Facebook page, many commenters questioned the charge. Dean said to charge someone with murder under KRS 507.020 requires proving a defendant had intent, which police don’t have, or exhibited “wanton conduct manifesting extreme indifference to human life.”

“We need to review medical records and see his blood test results before we know whether or not we need to amend those charges,” Dean said.