Marshall Families Challenge Beshear Debate Comment
By West Kentucky Star Staff
BENTON - Marshall County Judge-Executive Kevin Neal and the families of victims in the 2018 Marshall County High School shooting are questioning the statements of Kentucky's Attorney General during a recent gubernatorial debate.

Neal's office posted a Facebook video on Thursday, where he read a letter that has been sent to Attorney General Andy Beshear.  

According to the letter, Beshear referred to the shooting in Tuesday's debate in Lexington, saying he met with victims' parents and offered them every resource of his office. 

Neal's letter cites twelve of the sixteen families whose children were killed or injured in the shooting, who say they have never been contacted by Beshear since the tragedy. Those families include the families of Bailey Holt and Preston Cope, who were killed. As of Thursday afternoon, the other four families had not responded to inquiries about contact with Beshear.

Neal says the families were upset by the statement, which they felt was misleading and exploited their tragedy for political purposes. 

The Judge-Executive publicly asked Beshear for clarification and justification of his statement during the debate. 

"I have heard that you may have been at the Marshall County Judicial Building two days after the shooting for the first court appearance. But, please clarify which victim's parents specifically you spoke to, as none of the families we have heard from seem to remember this interaction," Neal said.

The Attorney General's campaign office was contacted for a response. They responded by forwarding a letter from former Marshall County Attorney Jeffrey Edwards. He defended Beshear, saying he personally met with the Attorney General on January 25, 2018, and escorted him to the grand jury room in the Marshall County Courthouse, where Beshear spoke with "a roomful of impacted families."

Edwards also said the Attorney General's office immediately began providing legal research and other help to the victims and their families. This included sending victim's advocates and a member of the Attorney General's Survivor's Council, who provided assistance in the immediate aftermath and during subsequent court appearances.

Edwards said, "Everything the Attorney General said in his debate was true. I know because I was there on January 25, 2018. What families can remember in a time of trauma or whether they recognized someone as a member of my office or as the Attorney General is understandable. Let's not put these families in this situation."

Here is Judge-Executive Kevin Neal's video:

On the Net:

Neal Letter to Beshear 10-17-19
Response Letter from Jeffrey Edwards to Kevin Neal 10-17-19

Published 02:47 PM, Thursday Oct. 17, 2019
Updated 07:56 PM, Monday Oct. 21, 2019

Please login to leave a comment.
  • View Comment
    View (19) Comments



Most Commented Stories