Commonwealth Journal

News Live

June 4, 2014

Pawn shop victim’s mother sues Burnside church pastor

Danville, KY —

The Burnside pastor accused of shooting two Danville pawn shop owners with local ties is being sued by the mother of one of the victims.
Barbara Lewis of Somerset, mother of the late Michael Hockensmith, has filed a complaint in Boyle County Circuit Court against Kenneth Allen Keith, 49, according to a report Wednesday in the Danville Advocate-Messenger.
Keith is charged with three counts of murder, first degree robbery and first degree burglary in connection with the deaths of Michael Hockensmith, 35, Angela Hockensmith, 38, and customer Daniel P. Smith, 60, at the Hockensmiths’ Danville store, ABC Gold, Games and More on September 20, 2013.
Keith has pleaded not guilty to those charges. 
The suspect is known for being a pastor at Main Street Baptist Church in Burnside, as well as owning Gold Rush Gold Buyers in Somerset.
The suit seeks $665,000 for Michael Hockensmith's lost wages and $7,341 for funeral expenses as well as unspecified punitive damages and damages for the two children.
Lewis filed the lawsuit last week on behalf of herself and her two grandchildren, who are 10 years and 20 months old.
The Commonwealth Journal attempted to contact both Lewis and local attorney John Prather Jr., who filed the lawsuit on her behalf, but was unable to reach either on Wednesday for comment.
The lawsuit says that Keith acted with “malice of forethought” when he intentionally killed Michael Hockensmith with a firearm, according to the Advocate-Messenger.
Keith’s attorney, Mark Stanziano, did speak to the Commonwealth Journal and continued to assert that his client is not guilty of the charges against him.
“These people are as wrong as the prosecutors are,” said Stanziano regarding the lawsuit. “He (Keith) didn’t do it.”
Stanziano said he expected a civil suit of this nature, but began to doubt it would come “after we started seeing the discovery in the case,” he said.

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