Almost a year after a Laurel County Grand Jury returned an indictment, two former Kentucky State Police troopers charged with assault and official misconduct will go to trial July 30.

Mark C. Ridener and James P. Moore appeared before Senior Judge Robert Overstreet Tuesday for a pretrial hearing, during which the trial date was set.

At the request of prosecuting and defense attorneys, Overstreet set the case for a final pretrial hearing on July 15. The attorneys told the court they are still working on a plea agreement. Overstreet advised the attorneys that July 15 is the deadline for a plea agreement.

Ridener had been scheduled to go to trial July 16. However, Overstreet agreed to continue that date and hold both trials at the same time.

Ridener and Moore, who were employed as state troopers at Post 11 in London, were indicted in August 2007 on charges of fourth-degree assault and first-degree official misconduct.

According to the indictment, Ridener and Moore physically beat Richard McCrystal after taking him into custody on an arrest warrant in December 2006.

Because the charges in the indictments are misdemeanors, the cases were referred back to Laurel District Court. The case was initially set to go to trial on Nov. 28, 2007. However, that date was continued because Ridener filed a motion to dismiss the charges against him, arguing that he was immune from prosecution because the statute under which he was charged was unconstitutionally vague. Moore filed a similar motion on Nov. 27, 2007.

Former District Judge Michael Caperton originally dismissed the charges citing the defendants’ arguments and the prosecution’s lack of opposition.

County attorneys filed an appeal, arguing that only the commonwealth has the authority to dismiss a criminal complaint prior to the trial.

The appeal was heard by Laurel Circuit Judge Roderick Messer, who upheld the prosecution’s motion.

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