By John L. Ross
Circuit Court Judge Tom Jensen set a court date Friday for four suspects facing charges in the November killing of Barbourville resident Jonathan Ryan Foley.
Foley, 27, disappeared after a trip to the store, according to his father, Charles Foley, Jr., of Barbourville, who reported him missing Nov. 7.
Foley’s body was found four days later in the Trosper Community.
Three suspects were arrested initially for this murder — John Chris Mills, 42, of Barbourville, and James Wyatt, 33, and George Marcum, 52, both of Trosper.
The fourth man indicted in this case, Lonnie J. Sturdivant, 28, of Trosper, was arrested around Thanksgiving.
In Knox County Circuit Court Friday, the four men appeared shackled and handcuffed in court for a pretrial conference with their attorneys.
After some discussion which included limited discovery, the trial date was set for Sept. 10.
A final pretrial is slated for Aug. 30.
Sturdivant’s attorney requested the current bond for his client be changed. Currently, Sturdivant remains jailed under a $25,000 cash bond — the attorney requested a change to a fully-secured $25,000 (property) bond.
Jensen declined the request and kept Sturdivant’s bond the same.
Wyatt remains jailed under a $400,000 bond, while Marcum and Mills are incarcerated on a $500,000 cash bond each.
All four remain jailed at the Knox County Correctional Center.
According to Barbourville Police Chief Mike Broughton, Foley was killed the same day he went missing.
All four suspects in this case were indicted in December. Mills, Marcum and Wyatt were named in the first count of the 11-count indictment, charging the three with beating Foley with a blunt object, then strangling him with a belt.
In the second count of the indictment, the three are charged with first-degree robbery, as a death resulted during the course of committing the robbery against Foley.
The third count indicts all four with tampering with evidence by destroying, mutilating, concealing removing or altering physical evidence which could have been used during an official proceeding.
In counts four and five, Wyatt and Sturdivant are both charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Count six indicts Wyatt, Marcum and Mills on first-degree unlawful imprisonment by allegedly “restraining the liberty” of Foley. The same three are charged in Count 7 with abuse of a corpse “by intentionally treating the body of Jonathan Ryan Foley in a way that would outrage ordinary family sensibilities.”
Count 8 charges Wyatt and Sturdivant in possession of a defaced firearm by owning a weapon which had the serial number removed.
Counts 9 and 10 charge Mills and Wyatt with being second-degree persistent felony offenders, and Count 11 charges Sturdivant with first-degree persistent felony offender.
Once Friday’s court proceedings concluded, the four men were escorted out of the courtroom and remanded to the jail.
By John L. Ross
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