Attorneys hope to change venues for Danville pawn shop murder trial


DANVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ)- Attorneys for Kenneth Allen Keith, accused of shooting three people to death at a Danville pawn shop in 2013 say Keith’s trial wouldn’t be fair if held in Boyle County.

They even paid for a survey to prove their point.

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Dr. Mykol Hamilton is a professor of psychology at Centre College in Danville. She says she’s written surveys like this before. It polled 401 people living in Boyle County, testing them about their knowledge of Keith’s case and exposure to the publicity it’s drawn.

Prosecutors say Keith, a former pastor from Pulaski County, shot and killed Michael and Angela Hockensmith and Dan Smith inside the pawn shop in September 2013.

Keith’s trial has been delayed for years due to problems with representation. First, his original attorney, Mark Stanziano was shot and killed by another client in 2014. Stanziano’s wife, Bethany took over Keith’s case but later dropped it.

Dr. Hamilton’s survey shows that a vast majority of those people polled are familiar with the case and a large percentage of them already view Keith as guilty. She says that’s enough reason to move the trial.

“They would not know that negative publicity, they wouldn’t have decided guilt, they wouldn’t feel that, for example, Andrew had identified him. They wouldn’t have any kind of information like that that’s false nor would they have any information or facts that were established,” says Hamilton.

A Boyle County judge will decide if the trial will be moved. There’s a status hearing scheduled for November first at 9 a.m.