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1983 murder charge expunged from record

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Original conviction was overturned by Court of Appeals

By Linda Ireland

A Hodgenville woman has been successful in her petition to have court records expunged.

The records that led to Veronica Sue LaFollette Knox being tried for murder in 1983 will be destroyed, according to a March 1 ruling by LaRue Circuit Judge Charles Simms III.

Knox, who was 27 at the time, was charged with murder after firing five shots from a .22-caliber rifle into her 29-year-old husband Glen Cleo LaFollette on Jan. 1, 1983.

According to Herald News archives, Knox told officers the shooting followed an incident of domestic violence.

A year later, Knox was found guilty of second-degree manslaughter in a jury trial and sentenced to five years in prison.

The verdict was overturned by the Kentucky Court of Appeals in 1985 and the case returned to LaRue Circuit Court with instructions to acquit Knox. According to the higher court, the trial court erred in its instructions to the jury.

The jury did not find Knox guilty of an intentional crime (second-degree manslaughter is unintentional) as she had been charged, Simms said.

Knox, now 54, did not address the judge at the hearing except when presenting him with a copy of the acquittal order.

Expungement means the record is completely destroyed. In Kentucky, judges have discretion whether to expunge misdemeanor or felony cases that result in dismissals or acquittals (KRS 431.078). After payment of $100 to the circuit clerk, “the proceedings in the case shall be deemed never to have occurred; all index references shall be deleted; the persons and the court may properly reply that no record exists with respect to the persons upon any inquiry in the matter; and the person whose record is expunged shall not have to disclose the fact of the record or any matter relating thereto on an application for employment, credit or other type of application.”

Simms ordered the circuit clerk’s office to destroy Knox’s records within 60 days.