Dropped charges outrage victim's family


by Adam Walser


Posted on August 2, 2011 at 12:02 AM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 2 at 12:22 AM

(WHAS11) -- A family is outraged Monday night after being told by a prosecutor that the man who is accused of murdering their loved one and her unborn baby won't face trial on the charges.

We first told you about this case last week, when the family held a protest here after the judge threw out key evidence.

Now they want changes in the law so other families won't go through the same thing.

The victim’s sister, Jessica Spenneberg, described her emotions after learning the charges would be dropped against the accused killer of her sister and her sister’s unborn baby.

"Outrage, disappointment, hurt... all these feelings," Spenneberg said.

Spenneberg and her mother Maggie Briley were told by prosecutors that the case against Bernard Kalep King will be dropped when it goes to trial next Monday.

King allegedly killed Brandie Chadwell and her unborn baby girl  when he crashed a motorcycle Chadwell was riding on four years ago.

"It's been pure hell. I've had nightmare over nightmare. I can hear my daughter ask me 'Mom, take care of me. Take care of my baby.' I hear her cry," Briley said.

A urine sample taken from King after the crash tested positive for cocaine, and King admitted he had used the drug before the crash.

That evidence was thrown out of court, because earlier rulings in the state of Kentucky questioned the reliability of urine drug tests.

The Shively police officer who investigated the crash failed to request a more accurate blood test, even though King had been arrested 59 times before, mostly on drug charges.

The family also blames King's probation officer. They say that even though King was on supervised probation and was not supposed to leave Carroll County, he was arrested twice in Jefferson County in the two weeks surrounding Brandie's death.

"They didn't know the where abouts of him for 17 days," said Briley.

The family protested the judge's ruling outside the Jefferson County Hall of Justice last week, calling for stricter D.U.I. laws and mandatory blood testing after crashes.

"This system needs to change. What would you rather be full, the jails or the graveyards?" asked Briley.

The family says the decision to drop the charges means the nightmare won't end anytime soon.

"There's no remorse. There's no 'I'm sorry.'  It's like, where's the justice for us? The criminals have more rights than you do. We need to change this," said Briley.

We spoke to Steve Tedder with the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office earlier Monday evening.

He told us that King's trial is still scheduled to start Monday morning, so no "official" action has been taken.

King is currently serving a jail sentence for other, unrelated charges, but will soon be eligible for release.