Meade Co. murder suspects back in court

Satanic killing suspects back in court

MEADE CO., Ky. (WHAS11) -- Two men fighting for their freedom, after their murder convictions were overturned last month, were back in a Meade County courtroom Thursday. Keith Hardin and Jeff Clark were released after spending two decades behind bars, Thursday morning one of the defendants found himself back in custody, if only for a moment.

It came as a surprise as a Sheriff's Deputy slapped the cuffs on Clark in a Meade County courtroom.  The judge ruled Clark's bond, posted a few weeks ago, as invalid because it was signed by a member of his legal counsel.

"I just can't believe y'all didn't know about that rule," said the judge.

The handcuffs were quickly removed after the hearing when Clark's bond was put up by someone else.

"There was just an issue with the bond that got straightened out, it was a technicality and they got it straightened out," said Elliot Slosar, one of Clark's attorneys.

Other than that, the status hearing for Clark and his codefendant proceeded normally and quickly.  The two are now anxiously awaiting a new trial.

"He's doing really well, obviously very glad to be out of custody after all these years and he would just like to get to work," said Larry Simon, Hardin's attorney.

Hardin and Clark were released on bail a few weeks ago after serving 20 years in prison.

A judge tossed out their murder convictions from 1995, granting them a new trial.  They're accused of the brutal murder of Rhonda Warford.  Prosecutors say the crime was part of a satanic ritual but both men have maintained their innocence over the years.

"The fact that the commonwealth is continuing to prosecute these two men when they have basically no evidence to do so is very disturbing," said Simon.

The judge granted Clark and Hardin a new trial because DNA didn't match the men and there were credibility questions around a detective in the case.  The prosecutor has said previously he's ready to go to trial again and the defendants' attorneys say they're ready too.

"We look forward to his retrial which we hope happens soon," said Slosar.

"If the Commonwealth of Kentucky has any credible evidence left I'd like to see it ok so let them put it on, let's tee it up and we'll go to trial, and we'll win this case," said Simon.

Warford's family still believes the two are responsible for her murder.

Hardin and Clark are due back in court in two weeks for their next hearing.


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