HAZARD — A trial date has been set in the criminal case against Perry County Clerk Haven King. He appeared before Judge Allison C. Wells in the Perry County Circuit Court on March 31 for a status hearing. King is accused of harassing and abusing his power as a county clerk in an incident that involved a Hazard Technical and Community College (HCTC) student that took place earlier last year.
In the May 6, 2015 issue of The Hazard Herald, The Herald reported on a video that HCTC student Kali Bentley posted on her Facebook page. The video shows a confrontation between Bentley and an older gentleman, who was allegedly King.
The confrontation took place after Bentley said King allegedly pulled out in front of her when she was on her way to HCTC. She retaliated by honking her vehicle’s horn, that is when, according to Bentley, King followed her from Jamestown to the HCTC campus.
According to Bentley, when she pulled into a parking space, King allegedly pulled in behind her and allegedly blocked her in. Bentley said King got out of his vehicle and approached the driver’s side window of the vehicle she was in. Bentley said that was when she pulled out her cell phone and began recording the incident. The video would go viral on social media websites within hours.
The video was obtained by The Herald last year. In the video, the man allegedly believed to be King asked Bentley if she was Hershel Thornsberry and he then proceeded to ask her whose vehicle she was driving.
Bentley can be heard in the video saying that it was her grandfather’s vehicle. The man in the video then points out that the vehicle Bentley is driving has handicapped license plates and he then asks if she was handicapped.
Bentley can be heard telling the man that it was none of his business. The man responds by telling her that he is the county clerk and it is his business to know.
He then tells Bentley that she is not allowed to drive the vehicle and the only way she is allowed to drive the vehicle is if the person that the handicapped plates are registered to, is in the vehicle as well.
The man asks Bentley what her address was and she tells him that she isn’t comfortable telling him that information. The man in the video tells her that he has already ran her plates and knows her address.
At this point, Bentley tells the man that she is going to call her grandfather and the recording stops.
King was indicted in May 2015 on charges relating to the alleged incident.
He pleaded not guilty in the Perry County Circuit Courtroom on June 11, 2015.
Trial is set for April 18 at 9 a.m. and King is facing charges of one count of first-degree wanton endangerment, one count of no physical contact harassment, one count of reckless driving, one count of menacing, one count of second-degree stalking, two counts of second-degree unlawful imprisonment and first-degree official misconduct.
TJ Caudill can be reached at 606-629-3245 or on Twitter @TJHazardHerald.