OWENSBORO, Ky. — The judge handling the case of the former University of Kentucky board chairman charged with rape has recused himself.
The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer reports (http://bit.ly/2dkdbZ9 ) Daviess Circuit Judge Joe Castlen will not preside over the case of Billy Joe Miles. The 76-year-old Miles was indicted last month on charges of first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy and bribery of a witness.
Castlen told the paper he recused himself because he had dinner with Miles once and has said publicly he admires the work of Miles’ daughter, state Rep. Suzanne Miles.
“I had a rather hard time and vacillated considerably,” before deciding to recuse himself, Castlen told attorneys during telephone conference on Friday. “But in the end, I think it’s in the best interest that I do so.”
Castlen is the third official to recuse himself from the high-profile case. Jay Wethington, the other Daviess County circuit judge, had already recused himself and assigned the case to Castlen. And Commonwealth’s Attorney Bruce Kuegel has recused himself from the case. A prosecutor from the state Attorney General’s office is handling the case.
Friday, Castlen suggested he expects one of the parties to file a motion to move the trial to another county. No motions have been filed yet.
Miles is out of jail on a $150,000 bond. During a hearing on Monday, prosecutors said they would ask to update Miles’ bond conditions to say no one from Miles’ family or workers from Miles’ companies could contact the victim. Assistant Attorney General Barbara Whaley said the victim has received death threats.
Miles’ attorney Roger Eggert said he will object to any modifications to the bond conditions.
“(Our) client’s family denies all of these things, (and) our client had nothing to do with anything,” Eggert said. “He is hospitalized.”
Information from: Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, http://www.messenger-inquirer.com