Trial date set for alleged child abuser

Joe P. Asher Staff Writer

September 19, 2013

A man who allegedly held a child in a freezer made an appearance in Harlan Circuit Court on Thursday.

Randy Hammons, 25, of Cumberland, appeared with his attorney Laura Karem of the public defenders office in front of Judge Henry Johnson to request a trial date.

Karem told the court that they were working with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office on a possible settlement, but would still request a trial date.

“Not that we’re not negotiating,” said Karem after requesting the trial date.

Johnson set a trial date for Hammons on Jan. 21.

Hammons was arrested March 26 when former Harlan County Sheriff’s Deputy Matt Cope obtained a warrant. Hammons was living with Connie Jenkins at the time.

According to a previous report, Cope said Hammons placed a 3-year-old child in a freezer and held the door closed.

Jenkins, who was charged in the same alleged incident as Hammons, appeared in front of Johnson later in the session.

Jenkins changed her plea, entering a plea of guilty on an amended charge of second-degree criminal abuse. Charges of first-degree complicity to assault and first-degree complicity to criminal abuse were dismissed.

The state recommended a prison sentence of five years with the condition that Jenkins testify truthfully against the co-defendant Hammons.

Johnson told Jenkins that if she did not appear to testify, a warrant for her arrest would be immediately issued.

Jenkin’s final sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 6.

A previous report states Jenkins was charged after she intentionally permitted Hammons to cause serious physical injuries to a 3-year-old child by striking the child and placing the child in a freezer.

In other court activity:

* Two men accused of taking part in the murder of Damiano Delaney in February. The men appeared separately, each scheduled for a pre-trial conference.

Justin Miller, 28, of Cumberland, motioned the court for a bond reduction. Johnson set a hearing for the motion for Oct. 17.

Jody Cooper, 25, of Baxter, will appear on Oct. 17 after his case was continued until that date;

* Jimmy Brock, 66, of Coldiron, was sentenced to two years in prison on a charge of possession of a controlled substance. Brock was also ordered to forfeit $600 in cash. Brock’s sentence will run concurrently with time he is already serving on a previous conviction.

* Lisa Saylor, 46, of Barbourville, was granted a pre-trial diversion for three years on a three-year prison sentence. Saylor was ordered to pay a total of $5,5470 in restitution.

Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510, ext. 113, jasher@civitasmedia.com