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Delay denied in Paris murder trial

PARIS — A Bourbon County circuit judge has denied a request to delay the criminal trial for a Paris man accused of killing a 6-year-old boy in 2007.

Lawyers from the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy asked Judge Robert Johnson to postpone Lewis "Buck" Ballard's trial so his new public defender, Jason Pfeil, could have time to prepare. They said Pfeil needed more than three months to prepare for the case. Johnson disagreed and denied the request.

Ballard, 50, is charged with murder and first-degree sodomy of Wesley Dylan Mullins of Winchester, whose body was found in a garage at 1406 Main Street in Paris on Aug. 4, 2007.

The trial is currently scheduled to begin in August, but defense attorneys have repeatedly requested to postpone the trial for various reasons. The trial was initially scheduled to begin in October 2008, but was rescheduled to February 2009 because of delayed lab test results.

In January, the trial was moved to Aug. 5 because defense attorneys said they needed more time to test forensic evidence.

Defense attorneys have asked for a continuance at least three times since April 9, when Ballard's attorney, La Mer Kyle-Griffiths, said she would be out for medical reasons in August.

Johnson denied her request, saying the public "loses faith in the judicial system when it takes more than two years to bring a case to trial."