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Clay County vote-fraud trial to be held in Frankfort

Eight Clay County residents charged in an alleged vote-fraud scheme will be tried in Frankfort, not at the federal courthouse in London, which is closest to their home county, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves cited several potential problems in seating an impartial jury at the London courthouse, including extensive publicity in the area about the charges and the prominence of some defendants.

Those charged include former Circuit Judge R. Cletus Maricle; county Clerk Freddy Thompson; and former school superintendent Douglas Adams.

Federal prosecutors had urged Reeves to move the trial, but defense attorneys argued to keep it in London, citing the added expense of having those charged, as well as their families and witnesses, travel to Frankfort.

Reeves acknowledged those costs, but said the move would hold down expenses in other ways because attorneys for most of the defendants live closer to Frankfort than London.

The trial is scheduled in January. Reeves' order did not change that date.