A hearing was held in Breckrindige Circuit Court on Wednesday where a judge heard arguments regarding the Commonwealth’s request a change of venue of any trial involving Breckinridge County Sheriff Todd Pate.
Pate is charged with assault, wanton endangerment, criminal mischief, leaving the scene of an accident and DUI in connection to a March 8th accident along Highway 259 near North Fork that left a Grayson County woman injured.
Special Prosecutor Blake Chambers argued that pretrial publicity surrounding the accident and resulting charges plus Pate’s position as Sheriff would make it impossible to seat a jury in Breckinridge or surrounding counties. Defense counsel Douglas Vowels countered Chambers didn’t provide evidence to support the claim and offered two affidavits from residents saying a jury could be seated and fairly hear evidence in the case.
Special Judge Janet Crocker told the parties at the hearing she was not ready to issue a decision, but would take the arguments under advisement. A pre-trial conference set for February 7th at 1:30 Central time.
Pate was originally indicted in April, but a superseding indictment was handed down in October. An innocent plea was entered to that indictment during Wednesday’s hearing.