District 6 trial postponed again, no new date set

Published 10:34 pm Thursday, June 18, 2009

The final Pike County Commission District 6 hearing set just this week, has been canceled.

But, Judge Joel Holley, ruling in the case between Commissioner Karen Berry and her election opponent Oren Fannin, said the trial will be rescheduled.

Holley said he ordered the trial to be held next Wednesday, June 24 earlier in the week, but due to conflicts in schedule with Berry’s attorney Frank Ralph, the date will be moved.

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“I got an email late yesterday from Frank Ralph saying he already had a case set for mediation that day,” Holley said.

While Holley said he asked Ralph to work around the hearing, he was unable to change his schedule.

Holley said the trial will be scheduled, but he isn’t sure when. It likely will be after July 4, he said.

The case has been reopened for trial after Fannin and attorney Joel Lee Williams filed a motion Tuesday to reopen evidence and bring Berry’s daughter-in-law Ashley Berry in to testify.

This comes after Ashley Berry contacted Williams and said she did not receive her subpoena to court in the first trial, nor did she cast a vote in the Nov. 4, 2008 election.

Her husband and Karen Berry’s son Brent Berry, who testified in trial, said she did not attend the trial because she had a work conflict.

But, according to documents filed Monday Ashley Berry told Williams there was no conflict, and she would have appeared in court had she known.

Also in court was shown an absentee ballot, with a vote cast by Ashley Berry for her mother-in-law. However, Ashley said she did not cast any votes.

Kathy Lunsford Griffin, who notarized the ballot, testified she saw Ashley sign her affidavit. In his motion, Williams said this would call into question her credibility of all the ballots she notarized in that race.