Candidate Hardin... “No more catch and release”

Editorial submitted by Conrad Doyle

 Recently I reminded you of a shooting that took place in 2017 when the son of a prominent attorney was indicted for the murder of his “best friend” during a hunting trip in Breckinridge County, KY.

 Several thoughts have been voiced by members of the general public about the half- hearted attempt to look into the circumstances of this shooting. Even after the general populous and law enforcement officials have all heard comments about what happened that day being suspicious, if not illegal.

 Stone and Ford had gone “deer hunting.” However, deer season was closed at the time and hunting would have been illegal.

 Stone at first explains, “I was loading my gun and accidently discharged hitting my best friend in the back and killing him.”

 But later claims, “I saw something move in the bushes and fired a shot.”

 Why the change in stories?

 Why did it take 6 months before any charges were filed, and the shooter was arrested and booked into the Breckinridge County jail under a $100,000 all cash bond?

 Why is there no information given when calling the Breckinridge Co. Courthouse? Such as, Who is responsible for prosecuting this case?

 “The Commonwealth Attorney is the top law enforcement officer in a judicial district. He, or she, is tasked with prosecuting felony cases. Is murder not a felony in the years 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020?

 The current Commonwealth Attorney, Rick Hardin, who in his election bid pledged to “personally handle” prosecution of serious felonies. “We must fight back,” he said. “It is time for a change. Our current plea bargaining system is enabling a crime culture… No more catch and release. We will catch, convict and repeat.”

 You could argue the point that this Stone incident occurred prior to his election and while that might be true it is also a mute point. This position is non-partisan, so it is the responsibility of the newly elected Commonwealth Attorney to pick up the open cases from the previous caseload.

 Why would a person run for the office and then “drop the ball?” Could it be the defendant in this case is the son of an attorney that gave Hardin one of his first jobs? Yes, he was an associate practicing out of the Stone Law Office.

 So, is it just a co-incidence that since the posting of his bond, Stone has never been tried, convicted, etc.? Or is this a perfect example of what the now Commonwealth Attorney Hardin called “Our current plea bargaining system?” What happened to “No more catch and release. We will catch, convict and repeat?”

 And why would someone elected with this level of power choose to get involved in a case where “no crime” has been committed, according to those involved in the Gene Hobbs death investigation.

 Why does the Stone Law Office and the Commonwealth’s Attorney show up? What is the connection, or the common denominator between the Ford death and the Hobbs death?

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