Trial for double murder case continued to later this year

WHITLEY COUNTY — A jury trial for a Corbin man facing double murder charges from a June 2017 shooting that left two men dead was scheduled to begin earlier this week, but it has now been continued to later this year.

Paul Parsons, 49, appeared in Whitley Circuit Court Monday for what was set to be his final pretrial conference ahead of his previously-scheduled Aug. 6 jury trial, though that date has now been set aside at the request of defense attorneys. During Monday’s proceedings, Parsons’ attorney, Michael Brophy, informed the court that he had entered a motion to continue the trial before himself and prosecutors were called to the judge’s bench for a sidebar.

No specifics were discussed in open court concerning the request, though Commonwealth’s Attorney Jackie Steele, who was appointed as special prosecutor in the case earlier this year, said that it was due to some personal issues.

A new trial date has been set for Oct. 1. Prosecutors expect the trial to take at least three days.

No other court dates have been set.

The case had been slowed to a crawl for quite some time due to lacking evidentiary items that are necessary for the case to move forward still being in the possession of the Kentucky State Police Crime Lab, where they have been undergoing further investigation. Much of Parsons’ court appearances in 2018 revolved around timeline updates concerning that evidence.

There have also been several jury trial dates set during the lifetime of the case, though they have all been continued as well. Most of the continuances were due to evidence that had yet to be returned.

Parsons was arrested June 7, 2017, after a 911 call was received by Kentucky State Police Post 11 concerning a shooting at a Fred Nash Lane residence in Corbin. Upon arrival at the scene, troopers found two men, identified as Denver Nicely, 47, of Corbin and Joshua C. Wernicke, 28, of Keavy, shot to death inside the home.

Parsons had originally been arrested for alcohol intoxication in a public place by officers with the Corbin Police Department, but was later pinpointed as a suspect in the shooting and charged with two counts of murder and first-degree burglary. He was indicted on the charges in July 2017.

Parsons remains jailed in the Whitley County Detention Center under a $1 million cash bond.

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