Thursday, December 14, 2000

Kentucky Digest

Death Row inmates request new trials

        FRANKFORT — Two death row inmates are asking the Kentucky Supreme Court for new trials, claiming their lawyers got cozy with the prosecution because of their own legal troubles.

        Roger Dale Epperson and Benny Lee Hodge were sentenced to death for killing Tammy Dee Acker during a $2 million burglary in Whitesburg 15 years ago.

        Mr. Epperson was defended by Lester Burns Jr., and Mr. Hodge by Mr. Burns' partner, Dale Mitchell. At the time, both attorneys were being investigated and were eventually charged with taking their $175,000 fee in stolen money. Mr. Burns was convicted and sent to prison.

        Knowing they were under investigation, the defenders actually cooperated with the prosecution, the inmates' new attorneys claim, to lighten their own punishments.

        Mr. Epperson and Mr. Hodge at least want a hearing on their claimed evidence. They also claim, under a rule about newly discovered evidence, that jury tampering was rampant, and that a onetime Letcher County court bailiff would testify to it.

State considers
tax break for GE

               LOUISVILLE — A state tax board is considering whether to give General Electric Co.'s Appliance Park the biggest break on property taxes in Jefferson County history.

        The company — which last year leveraged tens of millions of dollars in savings and tax breaks from workers and the state by threatening to move jobs to Mexico — now says it needs even more savings. It asked the Kentucky Board of Tax Appeals to reduce its 505-acre property's assessed value from $92 million to $35 million.


ELECTION 2000 SPECIAL COVERAGE: Tristate reaction and impact from Al Gore's concession and George W. Bush's transition to the presidency, plus the latest news from Associated Press.

City submits Olympic bid
Where Olympic events would be held
Four annual festivals would precede Games
Police shoot man after store holdup
Some roads may be slippery
Storm closes 2 runways here
College leaders visit family of student killed in fire
Neighbors pray for pregnant woman
City gives prime spot to cement
Aquarium lands deadliest fish
Ballpark board must meet publicly
Proficiency test overhaul advice out today
Winton Woods schools, teachers agree tentatively
Henry's health tips aim to curb kids' illness
Judges to consider disciplining probation officers
Latest Hustler store opens Friday in Monroe
Officer faces charge of domestic violence
Report: Brutality complaint unfounded
Board seat got crowded
Fire damages home in Paddock Hills
Middletown native radio anchor dies
Store gunman escapes after holdup
Two badly injured in Avondale fire
Body found in Lake Erie identified
Body of missing student found
Court OKs takeover of schools
- Kentucky Digest
Parents opt for jail over visitation