Trial date set for Gillispie DUI case

shopkins@herald-leader.comOctober 6, 2009 

LAWRENCEBURG — A trial date was set Monday for former University of Kentucky men's basketball coach Billy Gillispie, according to the Anderson County Circuit Clerk's office.

The trial, expected to last two days, was set for Feb. 10 and 11.

Gillispie's attorney, William Patrick of Lawrenceburg, said last month that Gillispie was offered a plea bargain. The former coach has yet to accept the offer. Patrick has declined to discuss details of the plea bargain but said he thinks the offer is reasonable.

On Monday, Patrick said they were trying to decide whether to accept the plea deal. He would not say whether he thought the case would go to trial.

"We'll just wait for Coach Gillispie to make a decision," Patrick said.

Anderson County Attorney Bobbi Jo Lewis issued a statement last month saying that she cannot discuss sentencing recommendations but that the former coach "will be treated like any other defendant arrested for DUI in this county, and the charge will not be amended down — it will remain DUI."

In her statement, Lewis said Anderson County has one of the highest DUI conviction rates in the state when compared to similar counties.

Gillispie, 49, returns to court for a pretrial conference at 10:30 a.m. Nov 2.

Lawrenceburg police arrested Gillispie shortly before 3 a.m. Aug. 27. Police said he swerved along a road in a white 2009 Mercedes-Benz C-300, then fumbled through his car, looking for his insurance.

A police report said Gillispie had red, glassy eyes and slow, slurred speech.

Gillispie was fired last spring after a rocky two-year tenure in which the Wildcats went 40-27. He has sued the university, contending that he is owed millions of dollars in severance pay.

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