The trial of a Cumberland man accused of murder got underway Wednesday in Harlan Circuit Court.
Thomas Polson, 37, appeared with his attorney Kellie Wilson to stand trial for the murder of Lynch resident James Feltner.
Special Judge David Williams presided over the proceedings.
Polson was arrested on July 30 along with Justin Simpson after an indictment was handed down by the grand jury. A third man, Stephen Cody Simpson, was indicted in December on charges of complicity to murder and tampering with physical evidence.
Feltner was reported missing by family members in July 2011. His body was discovered in the Blair community on July 25, 2011, approximately one week after he was reported missing. The body was discovered by ATV riders on an abandoned strip mine site located approximately 1½ miles off the roadway. Feltner, 23, was last seen in Lynch on the evening of July 15.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Parker Boggs opened the case for the state as opening arguments got underway after a jury was seated.
Boggs told the jury it was up to them to decide the truth in the case.
“We’re looking for the truth,” Boggs told the jury.
Boggs said Feltner was found 10 days after he was last seen, stating Feltner’s mother called police after he had not been seen for five days.
Boggs told the jury the case was about pills, drug abuse, drug addiction and drug deals, stating “it’s difficult to find the truth when a crime happens in a drug environment.”
According to Boggs, witnesses will testify that Feltner was seen with Polson the last day he was seen alive.
“This is not a television show,” said Boggs. “We will not know the answer at the end of the hour. It will take time.”
During her opening, Wilson asked the jury to pay attention to the evidence presented.
“The wrong man is on trial for murder,” said Wilson. “Just listen to the evidence.”
Wilson told the jury they would hear that Justin Simpson had attempted to sell an AR 15 rifle similar to a rifle owned by Feltner, and that he had also tried to pawn a similar rifle.
According to Wilson, even though DNA samples were collected, no physical evidence was found linking Polson to the crime.
Wilson also pointed out all charges were dropped against Justin Simpson last week.
“There’s lots of evidence in this case,” said Wilson. “Just not against Thomas Polson.”
The trial continues today in Harlan Circuit Court.
Joe P. Asher may be reached at 606-573-4510, ext. 1161, or on Twitter #joe_hde