Clifford “Boomer” Cathey was led into Circuit Court in shackles for his pretrial conference on Monday. He faces manslaughter charges in connection with the 2012 New Year's Day beating death of Heath Toney.

Two high profile criminal cases were in Carter Circuit Court on Monday.

Danny Sparks, the former Olive Hill mayor facing trafficking charges, appeared before Judge Rebecca Phillips for a pretrial conference.

Sparks’ attorney, Robin Webb, had made a motion for more specific discovery, which Commonwealth’s Attorney Brandon Ison did not oppose.

Ison did, however, inform the court that some of the information requested will not be available.

Judge Phillips said an order would be entered into the file and another pretrial conference is scheduled for Sept. 3.

Sparks was indicted in February on one count of trafficking in marijuana, a Schedule I controlled substance, within 1,000 yards of a school, a Class D felony.

Clifford “Boomer” Cathey appeared for a final pretrial conference Monday afternoon.

He was indicted in February 2012, along with co-defendant Brian K. Rice, for first degree manslaughter, a Class B felony, in connection with the 2012 New Year’s Day beating death of Heath Toney.

Cathey appeared before Judge Phillips in what was supposed to be his final pretrial conference before going to trial.

However, Phillips informed Cathey that a new defense attorney would be assigned to his case.

“We need to focus on the trial being set as soon as possible,” Phillips said. “But first we need to find out who will be assigned to your case.”

A status hearing will be held July 15 in the case and it is possible that a new date for trial will be set.

Rice pleaded guilty in February to facilitation to manslaughter, a Class D felony, in exchange for future testimony against Cathey.

Rice was sentenced to five years, which will run consecutively with any other time he may be required to serve. He was out on parole when the Toney beating occurred.

Cathey, if convicted, will face 10 to 20 years in prison.

Leeann Akers can be reached at or by phone at 474-5101.

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