Local woman charged formerly with Complicity to Manslaughter 2nd
Amanda Griffith issued a summons to appear this Friday morning
“We will not go away or give up on justice being served. My son didn’t deserved what was done to him.” Christy Gayheart, Brad Trent’s mother
Some of us remember October 11, 2019 more clearly than others. For the Trent family we are sure it is a date they will never forget.
On that date, Johnathan Bradley Trent (Brad) was shot, rushed to Pikeville Medical Center, where doctors were unable to save the young man, age 26, raised in the Curt Community of Jackson, Kentucky and described by both family and friends alike as perpetually smiling and bringing joy and happiness into the lives he touched. Mr. Trent suffered a gunshot to the head.
It is believed the gun discharged accidentally. Dale Melton was charged in a three count indictment the specifics of which we published in Vol. 132, No. 6 of our newspaper on February 5, 2020. We reported Mr. Melton was charged with manslaughter, 2nd-degree; trafficking in a controlled substance identified as LSD; and possession of drug paraphernalia.
According to online research conducted by newspaper personnel, 2nd-degree manslaughter in Kentucky is defined as wantonly (circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life) causing the death of another person; including, but not limited to situations where the death results from the person’s (c) unlawful distribution for remuneration of a Schedule I or II controlled substance when the controlled substance is the proximate cause of death. KRS §507.040(1)(c). “LSD” is a Schedule I narcotic in Kentucky according to online sources we were able to access.
We reached out to Brad Trent’s mother, Christy Gayheart, for comment. She told the Times-Voice, “Our family is devastated and crushed and we mourn Brad everyday. We will not go away or give up on justice being served. My son didn’t deserved what was done to him.”
Mr. Melton was indicted and has had these charges pending against him for over a year. His case, according to the Circuit Court Clerk’s office, is on the docket for Friday morning, at 10:00 a.m. and is showing for “pretrial conference.” The docket related Amanda Hampton as Mr. Melton’s attorney of record.
Local woman, Amanda Griffith, has also now been indicted. According to the grand jury’s report sent the newspaper office by a deputy clerk, Amanda Griffith has been formerly charged with “Complicity to Manslaughter 2nd.”
Ms. Griffith has been sent a Criminal Summons to appear on the 10th. In Kentucky, under the Rules of Criminal Procedure, according to information accessed over the internet, a summons may issue, in lieu of an arrest warrant, where there exists reasonable grounds to believe the defendant will voluntarily appear.
Ms. Griffith’s matter is set for an initial appearance where it is believed she will enter a formal plea to the charge listed in the indictment, in Circuit Court, Friday morning. Her matter and that of Mr. Melton’s is set for the same time. It is unclear whether the matters will be joined for future proceedings or will continue on separately.
“Complicity” is charged when a person not responsible for the underlying offense may have aided or abetted the offense’s commission. Someone so charged is usually and potentially culpable for an offense one-level lower than the crime the defendant allegedly aided or abetted, according to local attorney, Derek Campbell, with whom the paper consulted about “complicity” offenses generally, under Kentucky law.
Ms Griffith has been indicted for a Class D felony. The indictment alleges she “…was complicit in wantonly causing the death of Brad Trent…” on the appointed date.
This is a developing story. The paper will track this case through to its conclusion.
Note: Mr. Long is an award-winning Kentucky journalist recognized for excellence in both writing and reporting by the Kentucky Press Association.