Danville, KY —
The Burnside pastor accused of shooting and killing three people last month in a Danville pawn shop pleaded not guilty during a hearing yesterday in Danville.
Murder suspect Kenneth Allen Keith, known to his friends and family as Allen, appeared at his arraignment Wednesday morning in Boyle District Court via video from the Boyle County Detention Center. Keith pleaded not guilty to three counts of murder and one count of first-degree robbery in connection with the Sept. 20 deaths of Michael Hockensmith, 35, Angela Hockensmith, 38, and Daniel P. Smith, 60.
Keith’s attorney, Mark Stanziano, continued to emphasize Keith’s innocence after Wednesday’s hearing, according to the Danville Advocate-Messenger, which has helped the Commonwealth Journal gather information in the case.
“He’s not guilty,” Stanziano said.
Keith, 48, who was arrested on Wednesday Oct. 9 at Gold Rush Gold Buyers, his Somerset store, is pastor of Main Street Baptist Church in Burnside. Keith knew the Hockensmiths, who owned the ABC Gold, Games and More with co-owner Steven Devine, which is the Danville store where they and Smith were gunned down.
Smith, a gold buyer from Richmond, was known to carry a significant amount of cash, and Danville police have indicated he may have been the target of the Sept. 20 robbery.
The Advocate-Messenger reported that Michael Hockensmith’s mother, Barbara Lewis, is vowing not to jump to any conclusions until Keith’s case makes its way through the court system.
“There are only five people who know exactly what happened: Three of them are dead, God above and the shooter,” Lewis told the multitude of reporters gathered at the Boyle County courthouse. “I want to make sure this man is guilty before I judge him. In my heart, I’m not sure. I like to think I can be like the court and he’s innocent until proven guilty.”