The trial for Abdullah Rahman White and Samantha JoDale Kolley, the couple implicated in the December 30, 2011, death of Kristie Lynne Allen, will take place Oct. 22 – almost two years after the alleged crime was committed.
White, who was transferred recently to the Hart County Detention Center, and Kolley, who is being held in the Hardin County Detention Center, were returned to LaRue County for Monday’s hearing before Circuit Court Judge Jack Seay.
Defense attorneys and prosecutors continue to discuss details of the case – now stalled by the introduction of a single hair found on a comforter that covered Allen’s body at the scene.
White is accused of asphyxiating Allen and attempting to move her body from a Buffalo residence where she was house-sitting for a friend.
Kolley is charged with burglarizing the house, tampering with physical evidence and hindering prosecution. She allegedly drove Allen’s Toyota Camry from the scene.
Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Whitney Meredith said prosecutors believe Kolley entered the house and helped wrap the victim in a comforter.
The hair, if it matches Kolley’s, would place the suspect inside the house, Meredith said.
The Kentucky State Police crime lab processed the hair, finding it did not match White’s or the homeowner’s. It shares characteristics with Kolley’s hair but the test is inconclusive.
The state requested a mitochondrial DNA test be done on the hair. The attorneys are having problems finding a financially-feasible lab that will permit an observer. It’s estimated the test will cost more than $9,000.
Judge Seay said the court has to act as a “gatekeeper” for expenses of the case “and it is a lot of money.”
The hair sample will be “consumed” in the test, according to Meredith.
White’s attorney, Josian Passalacqua of Frankfort, said his client is “tapped out” and has “no more funding for his defense.” He does not think White should have to pay for the test since he already has been excluded as the owner of the hair.
Kolley’s attorney, Kristen Purdue, a public defender from Bullitt County, said the hair – if it turns out to be Kolley’s – could have gotten on the comforter through “transference” as Kolley and White had a relationship.
“I don’t know if it proves or disproves anything,” she said. She added that the cost of the mitochondrial test could be “just the beginning.”
The DNA result could determine whether White and Kolley receive separate trials.
The attorneys agreed to meet again on April 15 to learn more about mitochondrial testing from an expert.
White could face the death penalty if convicted due to “aggravating circumstances.” He has a prior conviction for murder and a history of serious assaultive criminal convictions, according to court records. White had served almost 13 years of a 20-year sentence when he was released.
Passalacqua said he was meeting with other defense attorneys on April 1 to discuss the aggravators.