Not guilty plea entered for pastor charged in triple murder - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Not guilty plea entered for pastor charged in triple murder

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Kenneth Allen Keith, 48, of Burnside, Kentucky Kenneth Allen Keith, 48, of Burnside, Kentucky
Keith appeared via video conference from the Boyle County Detention Center for arraignment on three counts of murder and one count of robbery. Keith appeared via video conference from the Boyle County Detention Center for arraignment on three counts of murder and one count of robbery.
Boyle County District Court Boyle County District Court
A gunman shot and killed Michael, 35, and Angela Hockensmith, 38, as well as gold dealer Daniel Smith, 60, inside ABC Gold Games and More in Danville on September 20, 2013. A gunman shot and killed Michael, 35, and Angela Hockensmith, 38, as well as gold dealer Daniel Smith, 60, inside ABC Gold Games and More in Danville on September 20, 2013.

DANVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Defense attorneys for a Kentucky pastor accused in a triple murder entered a not guilty plea on his behalf Wednesday.

Kenneth Allen Keith, 48, of Burnside, Kentucky appeared via video conference from the Boyle County Detention Center for arraignment on three counts of murder and one count of robbery.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Victim identities, suspect information released in Danville store shooting]

"We will ask the court at this time to enter not guilty pleas on behalf of Mr. Keith to all the charges set forth against him," said Mark Stanziano, Keith's defense attorney, before Boyle District Court Judge Jeff Dotson.

Keith is charged with three counts of murder and one count of robbery after police arrested him on October 9 in connection with a triple murder. The Burnside Main Street Baptist Church pastor is accused of gunning down Michael, 35, and Angela Hockensmith, 38, as well as gold dealer Daniel Smith, 60, inside ABC Gold Games and More in Danville on September 20. The Hockensmiths co-owned the store. Detectives discovered Smith's brief case containing $40,000 was missing from the scene.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Warrants: Pastor angry with pawn shop owners]

"There's only five people that knows exactly what happened: three of 'ems dead, the shooter, and God above," said Barbara Hockensmith, mother of Michael Hockensmith. Barbara said while her family has been torn apart by the deaths of her son and daughter-in-law, she will leave justice in the hands of those in higher power.

"I just want to make sure that this man is guilty before I judge him," she said. "He's innocent until proven guilty."

Defense attorneys for Keith hope to prove their client's innocence. During the arraignment, Stanziano motioned for evidence to be preserved during the arraignment, hopeful a partial alibi could help clear Keith's name.

"It appears the shooting is somewhere around 9:00, 9:15 a.m. on the 20th of September," began Keith. "The affidavit also sets forth from where Mr. Keith was from at least 9:24 to 9:36 a.m."

When questioned why a substantial amount of cash was located at Gold Rush Gold Buyers, Keith's pawn shop in Somerset where police executed a search warrant last week, Stanziano replied, "There were other documents seized when they seized the cash. The documents are in the nature of proof that the cash came from inheritances. There were two, I believe." Stanziano went on to remark, "I would remind you all it's America and people are allowed to have cash in their safes."

Stanziano said since Keith's arrest, defense attorneys have only met with him three times and are now working to build their case. According to Stanziano, Keith suffers from a neurological ailment.

"He has a brain tumor. That is certain," began Stanziano, "but we don't know if that plays into anything yet because it's too early to know."

Keith is being held without bond at the Boyle County Detention Center. He is expected back before a judge for a preliminary hearing on Wednesday, October 23 at 1:30 p.m.

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