Local News

October 10, 2013

Arrest warrant issued for no-show witness

Phelps’ trial re-set

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — The trial for a former school administrator accused of sexual contact with a teenage girl was reset for Dec. 2.

Charles Douglas Phelps, 54, appeared in court Tuesday morning with his attorneys, Gary Crabtree and Conrad Cessna, to answer to the charges that he had sexual contact with a 17-year-old girl in November 2011. However, the victim in the case was not present.

An warrant has been issued for her arrest.

Due to the no-show witness, Commonwealth’s Attorney Jackie Steele requested a new trial date. He also requested that Phelps be incarcerated for violating his bond condition of no contact with the victim or witnesses.

“Since the trial date was set in August, he has had contact with the victim, yet we can’t locate her to come to the trial,” Steele said after the proceedings. “I moved to continue the trial due to the victim evading the process. Mr. Crabtree requested that the case be dismissed. Then I requested that he (Phelps) be put in jail for violating his bond.”

The arguments between the attorneys went on for over an hour before Laurel Circuit Judge Tom Jensen. Jensen then ordered Phelps to be on home incarceration from 6:30 p.m. until 6:30 a.m. The reason for those hours of restriction was Phelps said he had been working on his brother’s farm during the day but that the hours of work varied. Crabtree argued Phelps should not be jailed because he had appeared in court at every scheduled trial date and that neither he nor Phelps were aware of any “no contact” condition with one of the victims named in the original indictment.

“There is no reason to put my client in custody if you’re going to continue the case,” Crabtree argued.

But Steele argued that the bond conditions specifically state there be no contact between Phelps, victim(s), or any witnesses in the case, and Crabtree and Phelps were both well versed with those conditions.

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