Commonwealth Journal

April 10, 2014

Accused killer’s status hearing delayed

by Heather Tomlinson
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset — A status hearing for Kenneth Allen Keith, accused of killing three people in a Danville business in September 2013, has been delayed.

Keith, 48, of Burnside, is accused of shooting and killing Michael Hockensmith, 35, Angela Hockensmith, 38, and Daniel P. Smith, 60, in a Sept. 20 incident in Danville.

Keith has pleaded not guilty to three counts of murder, first degree robbery and first degree burglary in connection with the incident, which took place at the Hockensmiths’ Danville store, ABC Gold, Games and More.

Keith, a pastor at Main Street Baptist Church in Burnside, has been lodged in the Boyle County Detention Center without bond since his Oct. 9 arrest at Gold Rush Gold Buyers, his Somerset-based store.

Keith knew the Hockensmiths, who owned the ABC Gold, Games and More with co-owner Steven Devine. Police have said that the Hockensmiths had recently assumed co-ownership of the former Kings Corner outlet from Keith with Devine and had changed its name to ABC Gold, Games and More. Michael Hockensmith had managed the store for Keith before that, police said.

Family and friends of the Hockensmiths have told reporters that Keith served as a former pastor to Michael Hockensmith.

Keith also reportedly did business with Smith, of Richmond, who was a gold buyer and seller.

The Hockensmiths’ 9-year-old son, who called 911 to report the shootings and who was in the store with his 14-month-old sister when the incident happened, may have witnessed one or possibly all of the killings, according to detectives’ testimony given during recent court hearings.

The two escaped unharmed.

According to a report from the Danville Advocate-Messenger, the status hearing, which was set for Tuesday, has been continued to July 8 while prosecutors await the results of forensic examinations.

Boyle County Commonwealth’s Attorney Richie Bottoms filed earlier this year a notice stating that he will seek the death sentence against Keith.

Keith’s attorney, Somerset-based Mark Stanziano, has maintained Keith’s innocence in the case and has stated that Keith was not at the Danville store when the shootings occurred.