Commonwealth Attorney Gail Guiling is still waiting to hear from the Kentucky Supreme Court regarding a decision it will make concerning the state’s appellate court, and if they have the obligation to hear the case of Timothy Claytor, who was arrested in Logan County on Aug. 30, 2012, for shooting and killing Dale Holloway.
Two days before Claytor was to stand trial for the murder of Holloway in a Logan County courtroom, a case that came before the appellate court (Commonwealth vs Farmer) set precedent that all cases where the defendant claims self-defence have the right to be heard before the appellate court to determine if they are immune from prosecution.
Because of the Farmer case, Claytor’s attorney Stewart Wheeler, along with other attorneys with similar cases in the state claiming self-defense, took the opportunity to bring their cases before the appellate court, however, they never made it to the front steps before the Attorney General’s Office charged the state’s Supreme Court with delving into the statutes that supported the appellate courts decision.
“The state’s Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Oct. 17th. Not on the specific cases, but to see if the appellate court was right in their decision to hear them. We are now waiting for their decision, and really have no idea when it will come,” said Guiling, adding that the decision will be so much bigger than the Claytor case itself, because it could affect all cases down the road.
According to Guiling, if a defendant is allowed to take their self-defence plea to the higher courts at this early in the process, there will be a stall due to the high volume of cases it will have to get through.
“This will not be good for the Commonwealth nor the appellate court who already has such packed schedules,” said Guiling, hoping the Supreme Court will overturn the recent action.
The Claytor case already came before Logan’s Circuit Judge Tyler Gill who ruled Claytor was not immune from being prosecuted, however, cases such as these, claiming self-defence, could have another chance at a higher court before even going to trial if the recent ruling sticks.
According to the Logan County Sheriff’s Department Holloway was shot at Claytor’s home on T. McReynolds Road. When deputies arrived at the residence they discovered Holloway unresponsive in the front yard with multiple gunshot wounds. According to the sheriff’s office, it appears that Holloway came to the home of Claytor looking for Lori White, a female associate of Holloway. It appears, said police, that some type of argument took place between Holloway and Claytor that resulted in the death of Holloway.
The incident was caught on a surveillance camera Claytor had installed at his home. The camera system, which has no audio, caught the entire altercation on tape. Claytor claims he shot Holloway in self-defense.
“When the Supreme Court makes its decision, and if it overturns the obligation of the appellate court to hear the cases asking for immunity from prosecution, I will be ready to take the case to trial,” said Guiling.