HAZARD—A Perry County man who was sentenced to 10 years in jail for felony assault after allegedly shooting another man has had his case overturned due to issues with evidence from the Commonwealth’s Attorney in the case.
Tracy Napier, 39, was arrested and charged with attempted murder in September 2010 after he allegedly shot Carl Holbrook several times during a confrontation near Napier’s home in Bonnyman.
The case went before a jury in 2011, but was declared a mistrial before a verdict was given. A second trial started in July 2012 found Napier not-guilty of the original charge of attempted murder but guilty of the lesser charge of first-degree assault, which carries a minimum sentence of 10 years as a Class B felony.
According to documents from the Kentucky Court of Appeals, the decision on Napier’s appeal was rendered on Aug. 15, based on numerous issues in the case and the jury trial.
The main issues in the appeal concerned a laptop that then Commonwealth’s Attorney Teresa Reed supplied for evidence to be replayed for the jury. According to the appeal, the laptop was supposed to be certified as being clean, meaning only the evidence the jury was meant to replay was supposed to be on it; however, it was never certified to be clean.
The appeal also lists issues with deposition testimony of a forensic scientist.
The court of appeals cited that its decision to reverse and remand the original court’s ruling based on errors that were “jurisprudentially intolerable,” essentially meaning intolerable in a court of law.
Current Commonwealth’s Attorney John Hansen, who served as Napier’s defense attorney in the original case, said he would not be involved in retrying the case due to his position.
Napier’s case is set to be heard later this year.
Amelia Holliday can be reached at 606-436-5771, or on Twitter @HazardHerald.