Commonwealth Journal

July 23, 2013

Molen’s attorneys unsure they’ll stay on case

Commonwealth Journal

Somerset — The defense attorneys for a local deputy accused of using excessive force have asked for more time in determining whether to continue forward in the case.

Attorneys Patrick F. Nash and Joe Jarrell, who have represented Pulaski County Sheriff’s Deputy Steve Molen since he was indicted on civil rights violations in June, on Monday requested a 14-day extension to determine whether his team will represent Molen in his Sept. 9 trial in U.S. District Court in London, Ky.

Nash appeared with Molen during his initial appearance in U.S. District Court on July 11 and emphasized to U.S. Magistrate Judge Hanly A. Ingram that he wasn’t certain whether his team would continue in the case with Molen.

Ingram, noting that  U.S. Eastern District Judge Danny C. Reeves intends to adhere to a tight schedule, had asked that the attorneys file a motion to withdraw from the case by Monday.

“Mr. Molen does not have adequate resources to pay the legal fees quoted by the undersigned attorneys. But, he has consulted with a family member who does have the resources, and who has promised to provide those resources for Mr. Molen’s attorney fee,” stated the request, filed by Nash on Monday. “To date, despite the promise that family member has not done so.”

Nash goes on to state that the family member is in the process of liquidating certain assets and investments to help pay the defense fees — a process that should take approximately 14 days.

“Because the quoted legal fee has not been paid, the undersigned attorneys cannot enter their appearance on this date (July 22, 2013),” stated Nash in the request.

U.S. Attorney Kerry B. Harvey stated no objection to the request in a document filed electronically on Tuesday.

Molen was indicted late last month on two counts of violating the civil rights of two victims in incidents from October 2009 and October 2011. The two victims, identified only as D.W. and G.C. in court documents, are local tow truck company owner Danny Whitaker and Pulaski County resident Gordon Cowan.

Molen was the target of another lawsuit, filed in 2011 by Kevin McCoy, that was eventually dismissed as well.

Molen has pleaded not guilty to both charges contained in the federal indictment.

It was during the July 11 hearing when prosecutor Patrick Molloy, with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Kentucky, stated the short time-frame leading up to Molen’s trial may make it difficult for prosecutors to make their evidence accessible to the defense.

Molloy stated that the U.S. intends to bring a number of things to light in the case, including several videos, eyewitness testimony and grand jury testimony by “agents involved in the events.”

Molloy also said the U.S. plans to introduce something called 404(b) evidence, which may point to other similar alleged acts carried out by Molen in cases unrelated to the two the indictments stem from.

Molloy also stated that he is anticipating a third case against Molen to be brought before a grand jury, this time in U.S. District Court in the Western District of Kentucky, stemming from an alleged incident that he said occurred “just over the county line in Russell County.”

A motions hearing is set for Aug. 13, and a final pretrial conference is set for Aug. 23.

Nash, in his request for the extension, stated that he and Jarrell are hopeful they will continue to represent Molen in the case.

“ ... the undersigned attorneys are hopeful of representing Mr. Molen because they have a good working relationship with him, and a good understanding of the case and what proper representation will entail,” Nash said. “Thus, the undersigned attorneys respectfully request the Court to grant this extension so as to facilitate the involvement of the undersigned attorneys in this complicated and complex case.”