LANCASTER — Right in the middle of a heated conflict regarding the 2012-13 Garrard County budget, criminal charges were filed against Magistrate Ronnie Lane for an alleged incident that happened more than three months earlier.
Lane, 72, of Lancaster, is accused of second-degree hindering prosecution or apprehension in connection with an alleged incident that happened Feb. 19, according to a criminal summons.
But the misdemeanor charge was not filed until May 29, according to court records.
Lane was allegedly with Misty Barker, 31, of Lancaster, on Feb. 19. Kentucky State Police Trooper David S. Fugate called Barker’s cell phone and said he needed to interview her regarding the theft of a concrete saw.
Barker declined to meet with police and allegedly said she was getting into a car with Lane.
Fugate then spoke to Lane, whom he knew fairly well, according to the summons. Lane allegedly refused to disclose their whereabouts; Fugate informed the magistrate that he could be arrested for hindering prosecution. Lane allegedly said, “Do what you have to do.”
Lane pleaded not guilty to the charge during a recent arraignment in Garrard District Court. A pre-trial conference is set for 1 p.m. Aug. 9. If convicted, Lane could face up to 12 months incarceration or a fine of $500.
During a telephone interview Thursday, Lane reiterated his innocence. He declined further comment, stating his attorney had suggested he not talk to the press about the case.
Police later apprehended Barker, and a Garrard grand jury charged her with two counts of theft by unlawful taking more than $500.