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Kevin Dye Gets Life Sentence in 2016 KY Murder of Kenneth Neafus and Dorothy Neafus
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Thread: Kevin Dye Gets Life Sentence in 2016 KY Murder of Kenneth Neafus and Dorothy Neafus

  1. #1
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    Kevin Dye Gets Life Sentence in 2016 KY Murder of Kenneth Neafus and Dorothy Neafus


    Kenneth Neafus and Dorothy Neafus





    Butler murder case death penalty eligible

    By Justin Story
    The Bowling Green Daily News

    MORGANTOWN — Major rulings in a Butler County murder case involving a man accused of shooting a retired pastor and his wife will likely be delayed until a new circuit judge is appointed to oversee the case.

    Kevin Dye, 34, of Morgantown, is charged with two counts of murder and one count each of convicted felon in possession of a handgun and receiving stolen property (firearm).

    He has pleaded not guilty to all counts.

    Dye is accused of slaying Kenneth Neafus, 71, and his wife Dorothy Neafus, 70.

    Kenneth Neafus was a pastor at Little Muddy Cumberland Presbyterian Church before retiring several years ago.

    The Neafuses were found dead in their residence at 3455 Richland Church Road on the afternoon of Aug. 9.

    Butler County Commonwealth's Attorney Tim Coleman has filed notice of aggravating circumstances in the case, making it eligible for the death penalty.

    Dye appeared Tuesday in Butler Circuit Court for a status conference in his case, standing with his court-appointed lawyer, Michael Bufkin, capital trial attorney with the state Department of Public Advocacy.

    Judge Steve Wilson, who presides over Warren Circuit Court, Division I, oversaw Tuesday's hearing in Butler County, having assumed the criminal and civil caseload there on an interim basis in the wake of the retirement last month of 38th Circuit Court Judge Ronnie Dortch.

    Wilson said Tuesday that he believed it would be best to defer most decisions in the case to a judge who would be appointed to complete Dortch's unexpired term.

    If the judge has a conflict of interest in the case, then everyone involved should wait for the appointment of a special judge to oversee Dye's case, Wilson said.

    "My suggestion is you pass everything until the end of March or the first of April," Wilson said

    Bufkin has filed multiple motions in the case, including a motion to have machinery provided by the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts to be set up in the courtroom that would transcribe all proceedings for Dye, who is hearing impaired.

    "Mr. Dye is deaf, but he also doesn't sign," Bufkin said. "The AOC has a machine in their office that can transcribe everything in virtually real time and allow (Dye) to keep up with his own court proceedings."

    Wilson granted that motion and another one by Bufkin to order law enforcement to preserve evidence.

    Wilson deferred ruling on a third motion by Bufkin to allow him and his investigative team to access the crime scene, which has since been sold to someone who intends to rent out the property.

    Bufkin was told by the judge to contact the property owner to see whether they will allow defense investigators to access the scene.

    In regard to Dortch's vacancy, a seven-person judicial nominating commission will consider nominees for the judicial vacancy.

    Anyone interested in being considered for the judgeship has until Thursday to complete and submit a questionnaire to the nominating commission, which will select three nominees from which Gov. Matt Bevin will make the judicial appointment.

    http://www.bgdailynews.com/news/butl...668a9c3eb.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  2. #2
    Administrator Moh's Avatar
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    Butler double murder suspect returns to court

    By JUSTIN STORY
    The Bowling Green Daily News

    MORGANTOWN – A Butler County man accused of fatally shooting a retired minister and his wife returned to court Thursday with a new defense team that has filed several motions on his behalf.

    Kevin Dye, 35, of Morgantown, appeared in Butler Circuit Court for a pretrial conference in his case. He is charged with two counts of murder, convicted felon in possession of a handgun and receiving stolen property (firearm).

    Dye is accused of killing Kenneth Neafus, 71, and his wife, Dorothy, 70.

    Kenneth Neafus was a pastor at Little Muddy Cumberland Presbyterian Church before retiring several years ago.

    The couple were found dead Aug. 9, 2016, at their Richland Church Road home.

    If convicted as charged, Dye could face the death penalty.

    Dye is being represented by Bowling Green attorneys Currie and Wesley Milliken, who Dye’s family retained in place of capital trial public defenders from the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy.

    Since becoming Dye’s attorneys last month, the Millikens have filed motions to move the case out of Butler County, remove the death penalty as a possible punishment and have separate juries determine Dye’s guilt or innocence and to determine his punishment, if he is found guilty.

    Special Judge Janet Crocker, who was appointed to preside over the case after Butler Circuit Judge Tim Coleman recused himself, did not rule on those motions but granted a defense motion to have the Department of Public Advocacy continue providing investigative services for Dye.

    The change of venue motion argues that the Neafuses’ standing in the community and publicity of the case through news coverage prevents Dye from receiving fair trial in Butler or any adjoining counties.

    “The Neafuses had had a profound impact on numerous people’s lives considering all of the churches Mr. Neafus had pastored and all of the counseling and community involvement he and his wife had been ... involved in,” the motion said. “It will be virtually impossible to find anyone in Butler County, Kentucky, that had not heard about, read about and/or formed an opinion about this case in light of all the circumstances surrounding it.”

    Four people who live, work or attend church in Butler County have given affidavits supporting the Millikens’ bid to move the trial, court records show.

    In the motion to remove the death penalty as an option, Dye’s attorneys argue that Kentucky’s death penalty statute is unconstitutional and that Dye, who his attorneys say in court filings “has been profoundly deaf since birth,” qualifies as being intellectually disabled, which would make the death penalty cruel and unusual punishment to impose against him.

    A transcriptionist from the state Administrative Office of the Courts has been present at court hearings to enable Dye to follow the proceedings, allowing him to read typed transcripts of each hearing.

    Dye’s defense team also wants a separate jury empaneled for the penalty phase of the case if Dye is convicted.

    To support their motion, the attorneys cite academic studies that conclude that a substantial proportion of Kentucky capital jurors reach a decision on punishment before hearing evidence about aggravating and mitigating factors during the penalty phase.

    “Even in the best of circumstances, attempting to humanize the defendant to a jury who has just found the defendant guilty of a capital crime after hearing excruciating detail about that crime is an impossible burden,” Dye’s defense team said in its filing.

    No trial date has been set in the case.

    Butler County Common-wealth’s Attorney Blake Chambers said 22 items of evidence taken from the Neafuses’ home, Dye’s home and a vehicle belonging to Dye have been submitted to the Kentucky State Police Crime Lab for analysis.

    “We anticipate having the results on those very soon, perhaps in a matter of weeks,” Chambers said.

    After reports are completed on each of those items of evidence, another 30 items may be sent for analysis, Chambers said.

    Dye is set to return to court Oct. 20 for another pretrial conference.

    http://www.bgdailynews.com/news/butl...f9dfb1814.html

  3. #3
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    Attorneys for Butler murder suspect want death penalty removed

    By Justin Story
    Bowling Green Daily News

    MORGANTOWN — Attorneys for a Butler County man accused of shooting a retired pastor and his wife have requested the removal of the death penalty as a potential option for jurors to consider, claiming in court filings there is not enough evidence in the case to support capital punishment.

    Kevin Dye, 36, is charged with two counts of murder, receiving stolen property (firearm) and convicted felon in possession of a handgun in connection with the deaths of Kenneth Neafus, 71, and his wife Dorothy, 70, who were found dead Aug. 9, 2016, in their Richland Church Road home.

    Butler County Commonwealth's Attorney Blake Chambers has filed notice of his intent to seek the death penalty.

    Dye, who is hearing impaired, is being held in Butler County Jail.

    No trial date has been set.

    Dye's attorneys, Currie and Wes Milliken, have filed a motion for the removal of the death penalty, arguing the evidence is "far too meager" and that the death penalty would be "arbitrary, capricious and inadequately reliable" if it were to be imposed by a jury.

    Several dozen items of evidence have been gathered from the Neafuses' home, as well as Dye's home and his vehicle, for DNA analysis.

    Dye's lawyers claim in court filings that Dye's DNA was not found at the crime scene and the Neafuses' DNA was not found in Dye's vehicle.

    "To date, the commonwealth has produced absolutely no scientific evidence linking the defendant to the crimes charged," the motion filed by Dye's lawyers states.

    The Millikens argue that the prosecution is using the death penalty as a means to coerce a guilty plea from Dye, violating his constitutional right to due process.

    "The existing evidence against the defendant cannot justify a legitimate capital prosecution," the motion states. "The commonwealth has clearly noticed this case for death not because it thinks that death is the most appropriate punishment or even because it thinks it can obtain a death verdict, but rather in order to obtain a strategic advantage over the defendant and use the threat of death as an attempt to leverage a plea."

    Chambers has not filed a response to the motion, but has alleged in other filings that there was a gap in activity on Dye's cellphone during the time period of the homicides and in subsequent days that suggests Dye had been using the phone but deleted certain activity from it during that time period.

    An extraction of data from Dye's phone included text messages and pictures that indicate drug trafficking and possession of firearms, according to a filing by Chambers.

    A hearing has been set May 24.

    http://www.bgdailynews.com/news/atto...5b01131b2.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  4. #4
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    Death penalty to remain option in Butler double murder case

    By Justin Story
    Bowling Green Daily News

    MORGANTOWN — A judge denied bail Monday for a man suspected in the deaths of a retired pastor and his wife.

    The death penalty will also remain a potential option for punishment for Kevin Dye if he is found guilty as charged of two counts of murder.

    Dye, 36, of Morgantown, is accused of shooting and killing Kenneth Neafus, 71, and his wife, Dorothy, 70, who were found dead Aug. 9, 2016, at their Richland Church Road home.

    Dye is also accused of receiving stolen property (firearm) and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

    He has been held in Butler County Jail since his arrest Aug. 25, 2016, but his defense team of attorneys Currie and Wes Milliken filed motions to eliminate the death penalty and to set a bond for his release while the case is pending.

    Dye's attorneys argued the evidence in the case is too weak to support a finding of guilt on all charges and a jury's decision in favor of the death penalty would be "arbitrary, capricious and inadequately reliable."

    Court filings by Dye's attorney featured claims that Dye's DNA hasn't been found at the crime scene and the Neafuses' DNA hasn't been found in Dye's vehicle.

    "The stuff most likely to have yielded that (evidence) has all been tested and ruled out," Wes Milliken said Monday.

    Butler County Commonwealth's Attorney Blake Chambers disputed the defense's characterization of the evidence, saying Monday that 102 items have been gathered by Kentucky State Police and sent for testing at the KSP Central Lab.

    Most of those items have been analyzed, but 22 items are left to be tested, Chambers said.

    State law allows prosecutors to seek the death penalty in murder cases under any of several conditions, including if the case involves multiple deaths.

    Chambers also contended that, because the offenses in the case are punishable by death, bail cannot be imposed on the defendant.

    To support his argument, he called KSP Detective Jason Lanham as a witness to testify about his involvement in the investigation.

    Lanham said he was called to the Neafuses' home to assist in the investigation Aug. 9, 2016, and found Kenneth Neafus' body in the yard near the front of the house and his wife's body on a couch in the living room.

    Both people appeared to have been shot in the head, and Kenneth Neafus' body showed signs of blunt force trauma to the head as well, Lanham said.

    Prescription bottles and firearms were reported missing from the residence.

    The detective began talking to relatives of the late couple.

    "The family could not give me the name of anyone they'd suspect of doing this," Lanham said.

    About a week later, Lanham heard from one of the couple's daughters, who recalled visiting with her parents in July 2016 and noticed that her father was acting strangely and mentioned he had received some troubling information, but he did not elaborate.

    Lanham was also contacted by KSP Sgt. Brian McKinney, a Morgantown resident who suggested looking into Dye as a possible suspect.

    "(McKinney) described (Dye) to me as very hot-headed ... a local drug dealer, he heard he had been breaking into houses and going door-to-door asking for money," Lanham said.

    KSP officers received an anonymous tip Aug. 11, 2016, urging them to investigate Dye and heard from then-Butler County Jailer Terry Fugate four days later, who reported that someone came to his house about the murder and said "Dye was a good suspect to look at" and that he had been trying to get money from elderly residents in the area, Lanham testified.

    Lanham said he attempted to contact Dye at his residence but got no answer and left a business card.

    Dye came to KSP Post 3 in Bowling Green on Aug. 16, 2016, and was interviewed by detectives about his actions around the time of the homicides.

    Dye was reluctant to answer a question from Lanham about whether he knew of a reason to kill the Neafuses.

    "I repeated the question four times, but he never answered the question," Lanham said. "He started crying ... and said they were good people and they really helped (him)."

    On Aug. 24, 2016, KSP heard from someone who reported that one of Dye's children talked about seeing Dye with blood on his arms, and Lanham followed up the following day, meeting the child at Morgantown Elementary School.

    The child told police that he was in Dye's vehicle on the night of Aug. 8, 2016, outside of what police confirmed was the Neafus residence and that he saw "an older, bigger man" run out of the house toward the car, with Dye pushing the man away from the car and onto the grass, Lanham said.

    The child described Dye as "hitting the bad man with a rock" and said Dye got into the car and used wet wipes to clean blood from his arms, the detective testified.

    Multiple neighbors also reported that their homes were burglarized and money, weapons and drugs were stolen a few days after Dye visited them to ask for money, Lanham said.

    Police obtained a search warrant for the car and Dye's residence, where they found a .32-caliber revolver that had been reported stolen. The Neafuses were struck with bullets fired from a .32-caliber firearm, Lanham said.

    Dye was interviewed again the day of his arrest, and he was confrontational with police.

    "He was so confrontational we had to stand up and detain him," Lanham said.

    KSP obtained Dye's cellphone and saw no activity during a two-week period around the double homicide, but interviews with relatives established that Dye had been calling and sending texts during that time, Lanham said.

    A pair of boots were also taken from Dye's home and found to have blood on them from three individuals, but there was not enough blood to do a comparative analysis and determine whose blood it was, according to the detective.

    Under cross-examination from Wes Milliken, Lanham said testing of the firearm could not confirm that this was the murder weapon, and that none of the victims' blood was found in Dye's vehicle and no blood found in the Neafus' home matched Dye.

    Lanham also testified he was not aware that Dye's son visited Chambers' office with his mother and recanted his account.

    Crocker denied the motion for bail based on the information gathered in the investigation.

    http://www.bgdailynews.com/news/deat...b38b8f2b5.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  5. #5
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    Dye pleads guilty in Butler double slaying, avoids death penalty

    By Justin Story
    Bowling Green Daily News

    MORGANTOWN — A Butler County man accused of killing a retired pastor and his wife pleaded guilty Friday afternoon to two counts of murder.

    Kevin Dye, 36, of Morgantown entered an Alford plea in Butler Circuit Court to the two counts.

    He was accused in connection with the shooting deaths of Kenneth Neafus, 71, and his wife, Dorothy Neafus, 70.

    Their bodies were found Aug. 9, 2016, at their residence at 3455 Richland Church Road, Morgantown.

    Kenneth Neafus was a pastor at Little Muddy Cumberland Presbyterian Church before retiring several years ago.

    Faced with the possibility of the death penalty had the case gone to trial, Dye accepted an offer recommending a sentence of life without parole.

    The plea agreement dismisses additional counts of receiving stolen property (firearm), possession of a handgun by a convicted felon and second-degree persistent felony offender.

    Several of the Neafuses' surviving relatives looked on as Dye answered a series of questions from Special Judge Janet Crocker about his change of plea.

    "Our objective was to have finality and closure for the family of the victims," Butler County Commonwealth's Attorney Blake Chambers said after the hearing. "I think it was important for the family to have the finality of a guilty plea with the assurance that there would be no chance (Dye) would be released on any type of parole."

    Dye, who is hearing-impaired and has used the services of a transcriptionist at court appearances, told the court he had enough time to consult with his attorneys about his decision.

    In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit wrongdoing, but does acknowledge the prosecution has enough evidence to secure a conviction from a jury.

    Friday's hearing had been scheduled well in advance for a trial date to be set in the case, but the guilty plea came about due to what attorney Wesley Milliken called a "watershed moment" in the case. Milliken, along with attorney Currie Milliken, represents Dye.

    At trial, Chambers was prepared to put forth evidence that included testimony from a juvenile witness who would have testified about relating to a parent what allegedly happened at the Neafuses' residence, a stolen handgun seized from Dye's residence that matched the caliber of bullets recovered at the crime scene, cellphone records indicating Dye was in the vicinity of the Neafuses' residence on the night of the double homicide and statements Dye made to Kentucky State Police investigators.

    Wesley Milliken said Chambers had recently turned over evidence of Google searches from Dye's phone related to a handgun that was the same caliber as the gun recovered as stolen property from Dye's residence.

    "We believed (the prosecution's) case was strong and we felt like the jury would probably convict based on the evidence," Milliken said in court. "If there had been a conviction, we ultimately believed there was a strong possibility (Dye) could get the death penalty."

    Formal sentencing has been set for Feb. 28.

    https://www.bgdailynews.com/news/dye...13299db8b.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  6. #6
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    Man convicted in double murder sentenced to life in prison

    By Allie Hennard
    WBKO

    The man accused of killing a pastor and his wife in Butler County has been sentenced to life in prison.

    Kevin Dye was sentenced in the deaths of Kenneth and Dorothy Neafus who were found dead in their home in Morgantown in 2016.

    Dye previously took an Alford plea which means he is not admitting guilt, but understands the evidence against him is strong.

    Kenneth Neafus was the former pastor of Little Muddy Cumberland Presbyterian church.

    https://www.wbko.com/content/news/Ma...506520721.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

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