The trial of a Cumberland man accused of murder entered its second day in Harlan Circuit Court on Thursday.
Thomas Polson, 37, appeared with his attorneys Kellie Wilson and Katie Gilliam to stand trial for the murder of Lynch resident James Feltner.
Special Judge David Williams presided over the proceedings. Commonwealth’s Attorney Parker Boggs and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorneys Karen Davenport and Jonathan Lee handled the case for the state.
Lee questioned former Lynch Police Chief Mike Nunley about his involvement in the case.
Nunley testified that he became involved when Benham Police Chief Drew Woods called and informed him of a possible missing persons case.
Nunley said Polson told him he had last seen Feltner at 10 a.m. the day Feltner was last seen, and received a text message from Feltner asking for a ride. Polson said he did not give Feltner a ride because he had to be elsewhere.
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.
Kentucky State Police Trooper Mike Cornett testified Polson told him Feltner had been receiving drugs via mail from California.
According to Cornett, Polson advised he had turned down Feltner’s offer of participating in drug activity.
KSP Sgt. Jeremy Lee was questioned by Davenport to shed light on how KSP became involved in the case.
Lee testified Nunley requested KSP become involved.
According to Lee, there were shotgun shells “all over the place” where Feltner’s body was found.
Under cross examination by Wilson, Lee testified that he went to Justin Simpson’s home to retrieve pills Simpson stated he got from a mailbox belonging to Feltner. Lee said Simpson had the pills in a box along with some cash and a pill container, but the money was not confiscated and no fingerprints were taken.
Davenport called Paul Thomas to the stand to testify.
According to Thomas, he and Polson had arranged to go to Tennessee to get drugs on July 15, 2011. Polson picked him up over five hours late the day Feltner was last seen. Thomas said Polson was barefoot and there was a bulletproof vest in the back of the car Polson was driving.
Stephen Simpson and Judy Simpson both testified they were in the Blair community engaging in target practice with other family members when they heard shots in rapid succession. Judy Simpson said she saw a truck leaving “in a hurry” after the shots were fired. They then went back to shooting.
Under cross examination, Stephen Simpson verified he is the father of Stephen Cody Simpson, who is under indictment for complicity to murder stemming from Feltner’s death.
The trial continues today at 8:30 in Harlan Circuit Court.
Joe P. Asher can be reached at 606-573-4510, ext. 1161, or on Twitter #joe_hde