Updated Fri, Jul 18, 2014 9:59 am
The trial of suspended Sheriff Patrick Kelly will likely be moved to next year, but the judge overseeing the case said it is unlikely to move out of Athens County.
Defense attorney Scott Wood is expected to file a motion requesting a continuance in the the trial due to the “voluminous” amount of discovery involved in the case.
Judge Patricia Cosgrove said Thursday that Wood has not filed the motion but that she expects it to be filed soon.
“I said I would continue the case one time and one time only,” Cosgrove said in a phone interview with The Messenger.
Kelly was indicted in January on 23 felony counts and two misdemeanor charges including theft in office, money laundering and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, among other charges. His trial was originally scheduled for September.
Prosecutors from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office have said that the discovery exceeds 30,000 pages and requires a separate computer server to hold the documents, according to previous Messenger reporting.
The trial is now scheduled to occur in Athens County Common Pleas Court on Jan. 26, with a final pre-trial scheduled for Jan. 5.
When asked about the likelihood of a change of venue in the case, Cosgrove said movement of the trial would not be considered unless the court found it impossible to seat a fair and impartial jury.
“It will really be a last resort,” Cosgrove said.
Kelly said Thursday he had not heard about the move in scheduling but that he could not comment on the case because of a gag order instituted by the court. A spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office also declined to comment because of the gag order.
As far as the effect the change will have on Interim Sheriff Rodney Smith’s role within the sheriff’s office, he said there will be little to no effect.
“We’re going to proceed as we’ve been doing,” Smith said. “As far as I know, everything will just continue.”