#89 Jul 11, 2010
No grand jury in either county, however, heard its Evans case in 1998 — or at any time over the next 41/2 years.
Arthur Maynard said he never received a summons or notice to appear before the Martin grand jury. And Lawrence District Court records show no action in that case, either.
The Courier-Journal, in its study of the state's court system, determined that many cases in Melvin's 24th Judicial Circuit have sat for years without being presented to grand juries.
In neighboring Johnson County, the paper found that as of the start of this year, 37 percent of the cases sent by district judges to the grand jury between 1997 and 2001 had not been heard by a grand jury.
In a letter to The Courier-Journal on Aug. 28, Melvin said her office didn't know about the 1998 DUI cases in Lawrence and Martin counties against Evans.
She wrote that her office "had no knowledge" of the Martin County case, and "when we learned it was outstanding," the grand jury subpoenaed Arthur Maynard. And finally, it indicted Evans on a fourth-offense DUI charge in April 2003 — a case that is pending today. He pleaded innocent.
Regarding the Lawrence County case, she wrote: "The same is true and this case is currently before the Lawrence County Grand Jury."
Finally, on Sept. 12, a grand jury charged Evans in this case with bribery of a public servant — the arresting officer had alleged that Evans "tried to bribe officer with jewelry to let him go" — along with a third offense of DUI within a five-year period, driving on a license suspended because of a DUI conviction, and possession of marijuana. He has pleaded innocent.
#90 Jul 11, 2010
Melvin's response didn't explain why her office had not known about the cases for more than four years, or how it came to decide to present the cases this year. Melvin insisted that reporters' questions be in writing, and she refused to take follow-up questions after her Aug. 28 response.
Court clerks in both Martin and Lawrence said they routinely notify Melvin's office when cases go to grand juries; Lois Horn, a deputy clerk in Martin County, said she was sure the 1998 case in her county had been sent to Melvin.
Spencer, Evans' attorney, argued that Trooper Arthur Maynard himself had had an obligation to see that the Martin County case was presented to a grand jury in 1998.
"What's his duty?" Spencer asked. "Isn't his duty to follow the ticket and see what's going on with your cases?"
Maynard said it is not. He said that in a month he generally writes 75 to 100 tickets and makes 10 to 20 arrests, and "there's no way in the world" that a trooper can follow the progress of each in court.
It's up to the court system — prosecutors or judges — to let officers know when they are needed for a case, he said.
Fleeing in the fog
At 1:30 a.m. on June 2, 2002, Martin County Deputy Sheriff Dwayne Bowen pulled Joe Allen Evans Jr. over by a gas station on Ky. 40 in Martin County, according to the criminal complaint, "for operating on a suspended operator's license."
As Bowen was telling Evans to get out of his car, court records say, Evans "cut the wheels to the left and sped off."
Running mostly without his headlights in the foggy night, Evans fled into Lawrence County "at speeds in excess of 100 mph," Officer Dwayne Crum of the Inez police said in a criminal complaint. Crum is now a Martin County deputy sheriff.
Evans was arrested the next day. The charges: first-degree fleeing and evading police, second-degree wanton endangerment, first-degree attempted assault and a third offense of driving on a license that had been suspended because of DUI convictions.
#91 Jul 11, 2010
Then-Martin County Attorney Drewie Muncy and Evans' lawyer, Kennis Maynard — the current Martin County attorney — agreed that Evans would plead guilty to lesser charges and would be sentenced to 12 months in jail. Six months of that jail time would be probated for two years. A judge approved the arrangement on June 11, 2002.
Court records also show that the judge ordered that Evans be screened for drugs every two weeks at his expense, that his driver's license be suspended for 12 months and that he commit "no violation of any laws" of Kentucky.
Deputy Crum said police weren't happy with the deal and thought Evans deserved more time behind bars — but agreed to it with the understanding that he would serve at least six months.
But on Aug. 13, 2002, Judge Kevin Holbrook granted Evans shock probation, releasing him after he had served about 21/2 months, records show, on the condition that Evans undergo drug treatment and testing for two years and be on probation.
He was also to violate no laws.
On the road again
Despite the suspension of his license, Evans was behind the wheel of a 1992 Pontiac with expired West Virginia plates on Jan. 16 of this year when a state Transportation Cabinet Vehicle Enforcement Officer Dennis Hutchinson pulled it over in Prestonsburg.
#92 Jul 11, 2010
Hutchinson arrested Evans and charged him with driving on a suspended license, possession of an open alcoholic-beverage container in a vehicle, having an expired registration plate from another state, having no proof of insurance, and three counts of failure to wear seat belts — one for himself and one for each of his two passengers.
Given the no-law-violation order from Martin County, Evans was at risk of having his probation revoked — and having to serve the remaining nine months or so of his 12-month sentence.
Martin County Attorney Kennis Maynard — who said he is a cousin of Arthur Maynard and related by marriage to Joe Allen Evans — said that if he had known about the Floyd County charge, and if it had been proven, he would have asked a judge to revoke Evans' probation.
"No doubt about it," he said.
At the request of The Courier-Journal, Gary Brunker, Kentucky's director of driver licensing, reviewed Evans' record and said his Kentucky driving privileges unquestionably were under suspension in January 2003 — and remain so today.
Nevertheless, on April 21, Assistant Floyd County Attorney Jimmy Marcum moved to dismiss the suspended-license charge and all the other remaining charges against Evans, and District Judge Eric D. Hall granted the motion that day.
Marcum told The Courier-Journal that Evans had come into court that day bearing a valid Florida driver's license — and that it is routine to dismiss a suspended-license charge when a driver produces a valid license.
#93 Jul 11, 2010
The prosecutor said he knew Evans from prior Floyd County cases — but assumed from the license and the arrest citation that he was living in Florida. Evans' address given on Hutchinson's citation was 6241 First Avenue North, St. Petersburg, Fla. But it appears that Evans' Florida license — which Florida records indeed showed to be valid at that time — had been issued improperly.
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles records show that between 1999 and 2003 — while Evans' Kentucky license was suspended — Florida issued 10 licenses and identification cards to Evans.
He received a Florida learner's license, a driver's license, four replacement driver's licenses, an identification card and three replacements for the ID card, the records show.
Evans' 10 applications for those documents — provided to the newspaper by Florida officials — show that each time he stated that he did not have multiple DUI convictions, that he had not been licensed in any other state, and that his driving privileges had never been suspended or revoked.
All of those statements are false.
A Florida statute requires license applicants to swear to the truthfulness of information they give in applying, and it makes false statements punishable as perjury. After The Courier-Journal inquired last month, Florida officials suspended Evans' license on the ground that he was "not entitled to the license."
Joe Lawrence, a spokesman for the Florida department, said applicants are checked against a national driver registry and a suspension from another state should always be caught.
"If he had a suspended [Kentucky] license when he came in there, that should have been flagged and he should not have been issued a driver's license," Lawrence said.
Marcum, the assistant Floyd County attorney, said that had he known Evans' license was suspended in Kentucky, he wouldn't have agreed to dismissal of charges. But he saw no red flags that would have caused him to look deeper.
#94 Jul 11, 2010
He didn't know about the Martin County case, he said, because the computer system he uses is not statewide; it contains only Floyd County cases.
"The only way I can get a criminal record from other counties or whatever is to have a pretrial officer run his criminal history," Marcum said, and that requires a judge to order it.
However, the file of this case against Evans in the Floyd County court clerk's office contains a 12-page copy of Evans' statewide record, clearly reporting the Martin County probation. That copy of Evans' record says it was printed on Jan. 17 — the day after the arrest and three months before the dismissal of the suspended-license charge.
The Courier-Journal was unable to re-interview Marcum to ask whether he had seen the copy of Evans' record in the case file. After initial interviews, he did not respond to multiple telephone messages or a letter.
#95 Jul 11, 2010
Records show that the case against Evans was dismissed April 21 — two days before his case was actually scheduled to go before a judge.
Grief for a child
Arthur Maynard — in his body armor and his crisp gray Kentucky State Police uniform — sat on a bench behind the Martin County Courthouse in Inez one recent day and reflected on his life since June 29.
"We were very close," he said of himself and his daughter.
He recounted the story of Joe Allen Evans — the Martin County chase, the deal for probation despite Evans' long history of driving-related offenses.
"Yeah, I think the system has failed. It really has."
He decides to tell a story that left a deep impression on him when he was a state police cadet 17 years ago.
That year, cadets were shown a video about drunken driving, a video that he said has caused him to always make enforcing drunken-driving laws a priority.
In the video, a woman told the story of her 5-year-old daughter, who was killed by a drunken driver. It happened that the little girl was named Amanda. And the background music was the Waylon Jennings version of the song of the same name:
Amanda, light of my life.
Fate should have made you
a gentleman's wife.
"At the time, I had a 5-year-old daughter named Amanda," Maynard said.
And with that, he hid his face behind his hand and sobbed.
Contact the reporters at firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com.
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#96 Jul 11, 2010
Now I know the story too........
#97 Jul 11, 2010
Amanda worked for me for quite sometime, i will not men. where, but she was the most outgoing employee i had she was always smileing and kind to everyone. She is missed and i hope that brandon gets life because he just took a child from a mother. Her life was her child and her family. I don't think him or joe allen should ever get out or anyone else that has taken someones life for their habbits. Amanda and destiny you are missed but we know that you are in a much happier place.
#98 Jul 11, 2010
i think thats its a shame that u all blame his pearnts and not the system he should of done 20 yrs after the 3 rd dui but 6 duis i dont know how much time he got or how much he did,but people in this county r stupid winers because u cry foul but u dont want to help people out u see it going on yet u dont have the balls to say anything until after the fact.so try to understand u need to help them instead of crying about.everyone needs this help around here so try helping them out.in order for it to go away,u need to call the so called law here in the co.and report it and then maybe it will get better,the same with the unite people call them and try that first before u start slaming people. i agree he has a problem and he will do 10 to life for what he done and he should because he knew better and i dont feel sorry for him.and i dont wish a prison rape on anyone but a child molester.ty for ur time.
#99 Jul 11, 2010
I couldn't agree more, God Bless you and your family.
#100 Jul 11, 2010
Hello, my name is Joe Allen Evans. I'm 36 years old, 5'10", 200 lbs. The reason for my web page is I'm in prison and I'm lonely, all my so called friends have left me high and dry. I'm looking for someone that I can correspond with and get to know. As you can see from my photo's I'm very fun and outgoing. If anyone finds me interesting enough and you want to talk or you're lonely too, just write me and we can get to know each other.
Joe Allen Evans # 178191
Otter Creek Correctional Center
P O Box 500
Wheelwright, KY 41669 USA
#101 Jul 12, 2010
why hasn't anyone even mentioned the source of the pills-i have been told it was a dr albert in paintsville--i think he was arrested a couple of months ago for writing prescriptions in a PARKING LOT--WHY ISN'T HE IN JAIL????? these dr's get away with giving out these pills-plus they get PAID FOR IT!!!!! HOW MANY LIVES WILL BE LOST AND RUINED BEFORE WE STOP THE MADNESS--people talk about unite and the law but they won't call and tell about drug activity--one drug dealer on 2032 even told the judge she was HELPING PEOPLE!!!!!
AS LONG AS ADDICTS CAN GET THE PILLS,THEY WILL TAKE THEM. if you suspect drug activity, call unite-they will do something about it--keep calling until they do. i have to go to work now and part of my payday will pay for pills or for pop that they buy with food stamps then sell it to buy pills--sad isn't it??????????
#102 Jul 12, 2010
People get a grip. Ok I'm really sick of were ever I go I'm reading about people pointing the blame. The only person to blame would be, brandon sluss. Not the Doctors, Family, Jugdges, Friends. Him and him alone! Im not a pill head i dont even take an aspirin when i have a headache. But seriously people shut the fuck up. Brandon will get what he deserves, as he should. But pointing blame isnt going to bring destiny back!.
#103 Jul 12, 2010
Oh look, a post that makes sense. To bad everyone here will just ignore it and say you are defending a baby killer.
#104 Jul 12, 2010
that sure was 2 beautiful lives taken, and so uncalled for.
I feel for both there families!
god bless them, and others who have lost love ones to Dui related people.
#105 Jul 12, 2010
your crazy the boy has been caught for dui six times heneeds to go to prison for a long time
#106 Jul 12, 2010
if anyone on this sight thinks they need to give brandon sluss another chance he is a grown man he knows better to get on the road while he like that ands if the parents keeps on bailing him out evdery time he gets into trouble they are as stupid as he his. If my kids ever got out in the world when they get older and get their selves in trouble they better not even call for mommy and daddy because we won't help them. They know what is right and wrong.
#107 Jul 12, 2010
your kids will make liars out of you, your on here running your mouth about someone eles's kid , you time will come and you will run and cry and lie, better not down other people when you are raising kids , you will regret it.
#108 Jul 13, 2010
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