A man awaiting trial on charges stemming from a shooting incident on Ivy Hill in December made an appearance in Harlan Circuit Court on Thursday.
Joseph Edwards, 27, of Harlan, appeared with his attorney, Douglas Asher, in front of Special Judge James Bowling.
Edwards was in court due to a motion for bond reduction.
According to previous reports, Edwards was charged with first-degree wanton endangerment of a police officer and attempted murder of a police officer after he opened fire when deputies attempted to serve a search warrant at Apartment 2, 201 Meadow Drive.
Sheriff Marvin Lipfird called in the State Police due to the exchange of gunfire. There were no injuries resulting from the incident.
According to the citation, “Deputies from the Harlan County Sheriff’s Office attempted to serve a search warrant on Joseph Edward’s residence, subject (Edwards) fired a handgun at the deputies as they made entry into the residence. Deputies returned fire, and after a brief standoff, subject (Edwards) lowered his weapon and surrendered to the deputies. Five deputies were outside the front door of the residence when the shooting occurred.”
Asher informed Bowling he had subpoenaed members of the Harlan County Sheriff’s Office to “shed some light” on the circumstances of the case.
Asher stated in court that the exchange of gunfire was the result of “a Chinese fire drill” on the part of the sheriff’s office.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Parker Boggs objected to the defense’s motion.
Bowling ruled the motion would have to be heard at a later date due to the Commonwealth’s Attorneys Office not receiving notice of the motion within the required time.
“This is an adversarial hearing, but we can’t have it today,” said Bowling.
Edwards is scheduled to be back in court on April 18.
Having reached the end of his allotted time as special judge, Bowling announced just before adjourning court that this session would be his last motion hour in Harlan.
“I’ve been working in Harlan since the 90s,” said Bowling. “I have enjoyed it here.”
Boggs, on behalf of the Commonwealth’s Attorneys Office, said working with Bowling had been “an honor.”
In other court activity:
* Samantha Smith, 26, of Gulston, was granted three years diversion probation on a charge of receiving stolen property. As a condition of probation, Smith is required to cooperate with the state and testify against Jason Fee, also known as Jason Middleton;
* Amber Ray, 19, of Evarts, was sentenced to 12 months in jail for second-degree promoting contraband and third-degree possession of a controlled substance. Ray was granted supervised probation for a period of 12 months.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510, ext. 113, firstname.lastname@example.org