The murder case involving the death of a 17-day-old boy may be resolved through mediation rather than by a jury.
Amanda Tolson and Christopher Chandler, the parents of Lucas Chandler, were scheduled to be tried for murder in October, but Clark Circuit Judge William Clouse sent the case to mediation Thursday afternoon. All attorneys agreed to the change, and Clouse signed the order Thursday.
According to the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts, mediation can be requested in felony cases in Kentucky. A senior status judge experienced in mediation and Kentucky law will preside over a one- to two-hour mediation session between prosecutors, defendants and their attorneys, according to the AOC. Clouse requested that Senior Judge Julia Hylton Adams, who served Clark and Madison counties for many years, be appointed as the mediator in the case.
The mediation session is scheduled for July 18, according to the court order.
Clark Circuit Clerk Paula Joslin said this is the first criminal case to go through mediation.
One of the benefits, according to the AOC, is the possibility of a quicker resolution than going through the regular process. Mediation is voluntary.
Tolson, 24 of 348 Hill St., and Chandler, 25 of Georgetown, have already seen their trial continued twice, from an original October 2010 date to April 2011. In March, the trial was continued again until this fall. Prosecutors said they were trying to line up seven doctors to testify at trial in the case, some of which could include out-of-state experts. Prosecutors intended to have all the doctors testify live, rather than through deposition or other means.
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Chandler and Tolson were arrested in February 2010, nearly a year after Lucas died in the University of Kentucky Medical Center on March 25, 2009. An autopsy determined that the child died from blunt force trauma injuries to his head. Doctors also found a skull fracture.
Police said paramedics did not notice any signs of injury or trauma when they were called to the home on March 22, 2009. Lucas Chandler was transported to Clark Regional Medical Center before being transferred to the University of Kentucky Medical Center, where he died three days later. When police searched the home, they did not find any weapons but did not know of the skull fracture at the time.
Contact Fred Petke at email@example.com