Commonwealth Attorney Gail Guiling will have her trial in Warren County instead of here after a ruling by special judge Steve Wilson on Friday.

Guiling and her attorney, Alan Simpson, were in Logan Circuit Court on Friday afternoon and Wilson ruled on several motions Simpson had filed -- including the one for a change of venue.

Wilson noted that because of media issues surrounding the trial, as well as Guiling's unique role as Commonwealth Attorney, that it would be nearly impossible to find a truly impartial jury here in Logan County to hear the case.

"I don't have a strong objection," special prosecutor Lynn Pryor said before Wilson ruled that the case would be held in Bowling Green.

Pryor did have a problem with Simpson's motion for a speedy trial.

Right now, the case is set to begin on Thursday, March 1. But Pryor asked the judge for additional time in order to prepare for the trial.

Pryor said it would be especially difficult to get "the case together on the syndicate charge."

Guiling has been indicted on charges of engaging in a criminal syndicate as well as tampering with physical evidence and official misconduct. The criminal syndicate charge is the most serious crime she is accused of.

Simpson was opposed to giving the prosecution more time.

"If she wants to dismiss the syndicate charge, it will simplify things a lot," Simpson said.

Wilson told Pryor she had until Friday, Feb. 9, to provide him with legal reasons as to why she should be granted more time to prepare.

The evidence against Guiling

Friday was the first time the evidence against Guiling was publicly discussed.

She is facing five total counts. Two for tampering with evidence, two for official misconduct and one count of engaging in a criminal syndicate.

Based on what was discussed Friday, the two counts of tampering with physical evidence revolve around two items of "drug paraphernalia" that Guiling allegedly threw away at her home. One of the items was a box of Swisher Sweets cigars and the other was a cardboard tube, allegedly used for taking drugs. Both of the items allegedly belonged to Guiling's grandson, Jacob Smith.

Simpson said that Guiling threw the items away while "spring cleaning" and had no idea that either was drug paraphernalia.

He also asked Pryor to tell him what month the crimes allegedly occurred, because the indictment states that it happened sometime in either 2013 or 2014 and that is an excessively long time frame.

"I don't have it," Pryor said. "I don't know if we will ever know what month it happened."

The two counts of official misconduct apparently stem from a letter written by one of the other co-defendants in the syndicate case -- David Nash. Guiling allegedly told her ex-husband, James Q. Guiling, that Nash had written a letter to Logan Circuit Judge Tyler Gill that implicated James Guiling in a crime. That allegation covers the first count of official misconduct.

James Guiling then allegedly told Gail Guiling that he would "bury" Nash and she failed to convey that "threat" to law enforcement, which is the basis of the second count of official misconduct.

The charge that Gail Guiling actively participated in a criminal syndicate is apparently a bit more nebulous.

Simpson asked Pryor to tell him what overt acts Gail Guiling committed in order to warrant that charge.

Pryor said that the criminal syndicate law is "broad" and that it covers providing material aid, which is why she was charged with that.

Judge Wilson said that the law was vague, but assured Simpson that he would not be surprised at trial by any new allegations of crimes Gail Guiling committed to necessitate that charge.

"It's just hard to imagine she's engaging in a criminal syndicate when she was prosecuting some of them at the time," Simpson said.

Simpson's defense strategy

Simpson appears to be gearing up to completely discredit not only the investigation by the Logan County Sheriff's Department, but also the entire department as a whole.

He filed three open records requests last week seeking information that could potentially be harmful.

One was for all records of the Logan County Sheriff's Department "drug fund" during Sheriff Wallace Whittaker's tenure as sheriff.

Simpson said that since taking the case, he has heard from several different people that he needs to look into the drug fund for possible improprieties -- and he intends to do just that.

He also issued an open records request to Whittaker for "an itemized list of all evidence seized and held by the Logan County Sheriff's Office from 2002 to present, the tenure of Wallace Whittaker as Sheriff of Logan County. If any evidence has been destroyed during this time, please provide all Court Orders authorizing the destruction of such, the date of destruction and the method by which it was destroyed."

Simpson said that request was more specific because he believes it directly influences the case because Guiling had at least three cases dismissed in court because the sheriff's department lost evidence.

He also issued a records request to the Russellville Police Department for investigative notes regarding an inmate who may have stolen methamphetamine from the Logan County Sheriff's Department.

RPD officer Mary Moore looked into a tip about inmates getting their hands on drugs in a police department. When her investigation found that it did not occur at the Russellville Police Department, but possibly at the Logan County Sheriff's Office, she then passed the information to Whittaker.

It is unclear at this time if the sheriff's department followed up on that information, however. Whittaker has not returned multiple phone messages asking for comment.

By law, Whittaker had until the end of the day Monday to respond to the open records request. Simpson said Monday morning that they had not yet recieved any response from the sheriff.

Simpson also said on Friday that he plans to introduce evidence that the lead investigator into Guiling, Logan County Detective Kevin Bibb, has lied on the stand before.

Simpson said that he has become aware of a 2004 case against Carl Jones that had to be dismissed in Judge Gill's courtroom because Bibb gave untrue testimony in the trial.

"I would like to divulge anything that would affect the credibility of Mr. Bibb," Simpson said.

Whittaker has previously said that he had no knowledge about Bibb's investigation into Guiling, and Simpson said that was incredible.

"He is either extremely incompetent or not telling the truth about that," Simpson said.

Subpoenas coming this week

Simpson also indicated that he would be issuing subpoenas for witnesses this week -- some of which would be testifying about the evidence room at the sheriff's department.

One person who will be testifying is Stephen Stratton, Simpson said.

"Stephen Stratton was the evidence technician," Simpson said. "And I don't call witnesses that are going to hurt my case or when I don't know what they are going to say on the stand."

Stratton is currently running against Whittaker for sheriff. He was fired from his job shortly after he filed to run on Tuesday, Jan. 16.

But he won't be the only deputy testifying against Whittaker. Simpson said that another deputy, who he was not ready to name yet, would also take the stand about improprieties in the evidence room at the sheriff's department.

Simpson said he will call someone who was working and saw Whittaker "in the evidence room in the middle of the night at 3 a.m. destroying evidence."

Since he took Guiling's case, Simpson said, there has been no shortage of possible witnesses to improprieties at the sheriff's department.

"I've had a lot of people contacting me out of the blue that have been afraid to speak up about what is going on because they may be fired," Simpson said.

Simpson also indicated that he would be issuing a subpoena to an FBI agent.

"One may be more problematic because he is an FBI agent and I will have to go through the Department of Justice," Simpson said.

Simpson said that, prior to her indictment, Guiling had been in contact with the FBI about looking into the sheriff's department and he wanted to call the agent Guiling spoke to as a witness in her defense.