DANVILLE — The wife of accused killer and former preacher Kenneth Allen Keith is scheduled to testify Nov. 30 at a hearing related to the killing of three people in a Danville pawn shop. The hearing was set Monday by Boyle Circuit Judge Darren Peckler.
Tracy Keith will testify in support of a defense motion to return property — including cash, gold and silver — seized by police from a safe at Gold Rush Gold Buyers, a store her husband operated in Somerset. Police searched the store and seized the property after the Danville killings in September 2013.
Kenneth Allen Keith, 50, former pastor of Main Street Baptist Church in Burnside, has pleaded not guilty in the shooting deaths of Michael Hockensmith, 35, and his wife, Angela, 38, both of Stanford, and Daniel Smith, 60, of Richmond, at ABC Gold Games and More, which the Hockensmiths co-owned. The couple had worked for Keith at the store before assuming ownership and changing the business's name.
Keith could face the death penalty if convicted of murder. He also is charged with robbery and burglary.
The defense contends that $35,000 in cash seized from the Somerset business belongs to Tracy Keith.
Defense attorney Teresa Whitaker said about $97,000 in cash was confiscated from the store, "well above any amount that's alleged to have been taken" from the Danville pawn shop. Whitaker also cited a ledger sheet with an entry saying $35,000 belonged to Tracy Keith.
Kenneth Allen Keith had received $74,000 as a beneficiary in an estate settlement months before the shootings, Whitaker said.
Commonwealth's Attorney Richard Bottoms said the cash seized from the Somerset safe could have been taken in the robbery of the Danville pawn shop after the shootings there.
Smith, a gold broker, had received $40,000 in cash from Fifth Third Bank in Lexington the day before he was shot in Danville.
"We believe the appropriate thing to do at this point is to leave the status quo, leave it in evidence," Bottoms said.
The judge will decide whether to return the cash, gold and silver after the hearing.