Thursday, July 04, 2002

Not guilty plea entered in gun case

The Associated Press

        GRAYSON — An eastern Kentucky lawyer accused of carrying two concealed pistols into a courtroom pleaded not guilty Wednesday.

        Special Judge William Schmaedecke also lowered Philip D. McKenzie's bond from $100 million to $100,000. Mr. McKenzie was released Wednesday.

        The higher bond was set Monday by Judge Susan Johnson of Paintsville, who serves as chief regional district judge in eastern Kentucky.

        Mr. McKenzie, 52, of Grayson, was arrested Monday by a deputy sheriff who found a gun in his coat pocket and another gun in a holster on his leg, authorities said.

        “A $100 million bond for a misdemeanor. We've got murderers in jail on much less bond,” Mr. McKenzie's attorney William Woods said before the arraignment. “This is absurd.”

        Judge Johnson, who serves as district judge in Johnson, Martin and Lawrence counties, declined to comment on the bond.

        Mr. Woods, a former judge, was removed from the bench two years ago for misconduct after displaying a handgun in a Morgan County courtroom. The incident occurred after he lost a re-election bid.

        A pretrial conference in Mr. McKenzie's case was scheduled for Aug. 20.


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