April 9, 2014 — Four high profile criminal cases will be before a special judge Thursday in Carter Circuit Court.
Judge Johnny Ray Harris will preside after Carter Circuit Judge Rebecca Phillips recused herself from the cases because of previous working relationships with the defendants.
Former Carter County Justice Center Chief Bailiff Earl Buckler, 63, of Grayson, was indicted on two counts of third-degree sodomy, both Class D felonies, after evidence was revealed following an internal investigation at the Carter County Detention Center.
According to the indictment handed down March 4, Buckler committed the crimes against two female inmates, both of which he knew were incarcerated. Buckler is represented by Boyd County attorney Paul Craft.
Former Deputy Sheriff Matt Morrison, 38, of Grayson, was indicted on one count of first degree sodomy by engaging in deviant sexual intercourse with a female by forcible compulsion, a Class B felony. He also was indicted on one count of second degree trafficking in a Schedule II controlled substance by distributing dosage units of Xanax, a Class D felony.
Morrison was indicted on one misdemeanor charge, first degree official misconduct, for neglecting to serve an arrest warrant in exchange for sexual favors.
He had been a deputy sheriff since October 2010 and was terminated on Feb. 8. Morrison is being represented by Grayson attorney Bob Miller.
Deputy Circuit Clerk Jennifer R. Duncan, 41, and her husband, Claude A. Duncan, 45, of Grayson, were indicted for first degree trafficking in a controlled substance, oxycodone, a Class C felony. Mrs. Duncan was also charged with first degree assault, a Class B felony. 4
A traffic accident on Feb. 15 led to the investigation and arrest of the Duncans last month. Mrs. Duncan was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the Administrative Office of the Courts.
Both Duncans will be represented by Catlettsburg attorney David Mussetter.
Buckler will be arraigned during Thursday's court appearance. Morrison and the Duncans will appear for pre-trial conferences.
Leeann Akers can be reached at email@example.com or by phone at 474-5101.