Jury trial vacated for former sheriff
The jury trial scheduled for former sheriff Michael Gayer has been vacated during a final pretrial conference on Monday.
On Sept. 14, Gayer’s attorney Bryan Cook filed a motion to sever the counts for the trial. They requested that counts 1-3, two counts of theft and official misconduct, be tried in a separate jury trial from counts 4-7, obstruction of justice, two counts of official misconduct and deception. The reason for the motion was cited “in order to promote a fair determination of the defendant’s guilt of innocence of each offense.”
Gayer was charged with the seven counts after a grand jury indictment was ordered on Aug. 9, 2016. According to the indictment, Gayer allegedly “knowingly or intentionally exerted unauthorized control” over property that belonged to Pulaski County such as four guns. Because he allegedly committed the theft, the counts of official misconduct were applicable.
Pulaski Circuit Court Judge Michael Shurn denied the motion to sever the counts. Because Shurn denied both the motion to dismiss the counts and the request to sever the counts, Cook asked Shurn to certify the order to deny the motion to dismiss. He plans to file an interlocutory appeal.
Shurn agreed to the certification and stated the jury trial that was scheduled to begin Oct. 16 has been vacated.