By Charlotte Underwood / Staff Writer
A date has been set for the murder trial of Sean D. Messer who was indicted in November for allegedly killing his live-in girlfriend, Pamela Sue Honeycutt Bobbitt.
Messer appeared in Laurel County Circuit Court Monday for a pre-trial conference to determine whether all of the DNA evidence in the case was ready. Commonwealth’s Attorney Jackie Steele asked for a November trial date. After a short conference at the bench, Judge Gregory Lay announced a Nov. 12 trial date, with a final pre-trial conference slated for Oct. 31, both at 9 a.m.
During the brief pre-trial conference, family and friends of the victim lined the third row of the court room, wearing purple shirts with “Justice for Pam” printed across the front. Other friends and family members lined the edge of the sidewalk in front of the courthouse holding posters.
“We just want justice for Pam. We want the community of Laurel County to know that we won’t tolerate a murderer and that justice needs to be done,” said picket organizer Shirley Philpot, Bobbitt’s former mother-in-law.
Picketers were also positioned at the back of the courthouse in the hope that Messer would see them, according to Bobbitt’s longtime friend, Anna Lawson.
“She was my best friend growing up,” Lawson said, holding her poster high as a tinted sheriff’s department van believed to contain Messer drove into the garage opening of the lower level of the courthouse.
Philpot said she plans to have picketers outside the courthouse during the trial, if it occurs.
“This is about Pam, but it is also about preventing domestic violence and encouraging victims to get out of an abusive relationship before it is too late,” Philpot said.
While he could not comment much about the upcoming trial, Steele said he could provide information on what he anticipated would happen at the next trial date.
“At that time, he will either enter a plea of guilty based upon a recommendation from my office or he will proceed to trial,” Steele said.
“After consideration of the evidence and talking to the family a great deal, a plea agreement may be offered, but it hasn’t yet,” Steele said.
Bobbitt’s sister, Tanya Honeycutt, said she was glad that a trial date had finally been set. Philpot said she believed that Messer would not accept a plea agreement and would instead, “drag it out as long as he can.”
“It doesn’t matter what they do to him, it won’t be enough; look at what’s left behind,” said Bobbitt’s uncle Jackie Honeycutt.
In addition to murder, Messer was also indicted in November for first-degree fleeing or evading police in the stabbing death of his 25-year-old girlfriend, Bobbitt, a mother of four.
According to London Police Chief Stewart Walker, officers discovered Bobbitt in Apartment 26 of Plantation Apartments, located on South Laurel Road in London.
She was bleeding from several stab wounds to her chest and back.
Walker explained that a call came in shortly before 11 p.m. Oct. 22 about a possible fight at the apartments, but when police arrived, they were told the two who may have been fighting had left the area.
Shortly after 11 p.m. dispatchers were told people at the same apartment complex were screaming about killing or stabbing someone. Minutes after that call, a third call came into dispatchers, and that caller said, “There’s a stabbing at Plantation Apartments right now.”
While discovering Bobbitt, police also saw a man fleeing the scene, according to Stewart. The man escaped capture.
Law enforcement from London Police, the Laurel County Sheriff’s Department and the Kentucky State Police canvassed the area searching for Messer, and learned his vehicle was parked at Tincher Williams Chevrolet on South Laurel Road, which is near the apartment complex where Bobbitt was murdered.
Police watched the vehicle and Messer came about 2 a.m. to retrieve it. London officers Major Derek House and Sgt. Jessie Williams arrested him there.
Bobbitt was pronounced dead at St. Joseph-London hospital by the Laurel County Coroner’s Office.
Messer remains jailed in the Laurel County Correctional Center under a $250,000 cash bond.
Family, friends picket during pre-trial conference
By Charlotte Underwood / Staff Writer
Twin girls Brooklyn and Brandy Clontz sit on Santa’s lap at the Laurel County Public Library’s annual Holiday Kickoff.
Sharing the Spirit
The Laurel County Public Library held its Holiday Kickoff Thursday from 3:30-7 p.m. The celebration included children 10 and under getting pictures taken with Santa, refreshments and performances by pianist Earlene Vance and the Children’s Theatre of Cincinatti.
- Sharing the Spirit
- Local News
Letter discussed by airport board
Negotiations between the Williamsburg-Whitley County Airport Board and one of the airport’s private tenants appeared to be going along smoothly Thursday night — but a few sentences from the board’s vice-chairman and those negotiations came to a halt.
- Hearings continued in murder case
- Letter discussed by airport board
- Local Sports
The Corbin Lady Redhounds returned to action in their second round match of the Cumberland Falls Invitational Tournament. Corbin entered the contest riding off an 86-point, hard-fought scoring effort in Wednesday's victory over Harlan.
There was really no question North Laurel would make short work of young Riverside Christian. The Jaguars picked up an 82-25 win Thursday with a running clock starting late in the first half.
- Rolling Along
School-choice critics intimidate but won’t debate
Ken Wilber wrote: “Most of us are only willing to call 5% of our present information into question (at) any one point.” Then there is the closed-minded leadership of the Kentucky Education Association, Jefferson County Teachers Association, Kentucky School Boards Association and Kentucky Association of School Superintendents who, when it comes to school choice, won’t even question that much.
- School-choice critics intimidate but won’t debate
Stacie Eichinger brings out her "Walk 4 Courage" buggy and beads she's selling outside the West Knox Volunteer Fire and Rescue station Wednesday, to pose with the crew. Those in the picture include Chief Darryl Baker and his son.
Raising money for ill children, Stacie sets foot at West Knox firehouse
Moments after Stacie Eichinger got to the West Knox Volunteer Fire and Rescue station on a warm Wednesday afternoon, priority one was to lose the shoes.
- Raising money for ill children, Stacie sets foot at West Knox firehouse
Ky. needs to enact smoke-free law
As president of the Kentucky Society for Respiratory Care and a board member of the Kentucky Rural Health Association, I urge state lawmakers to enact a smoke-free law, which would greatly benefit the health of Kentuckians.
- Ky. needs to enact smoke-free law
Authors Steve Vest (left) and James B. Goode (right) discuss the making of the holiday book, "Kentucky's Twelve Days of Christmas."
Season’s Readings: Christmas book tour stops in Corbin
For an hour Monday, voices filled with the written words of Christmases past filtered through the Corbin Public Library.
- Season’s Readings: Christmas book tour stops in Corbin