Defendant's video used by prosecutor in attempted murder hearing

John Thompson • Jul 12, 2018 at 9:41 AM

ELIZABETHTON — Three men and a woman were bound over to a Carter County grand jury Wednesday on attempted first-degree murder charges stemming from a June attack on Matthew Lewandowski on Rasnick Hollow Road off the Bristol Highway.

After hearing arguments from five attorneys, and with a defendants’ video entered into evidence, Carter County Sessions Judge Keith Bowers Jr. bound Kasey Delamae Miller, 31; Ross Bee Kelley, 38; Matthew Duane Dye, 20; and Michael Todd Silcox, 41, over to the grand jury. Miller is also charged with especially aggravated kidnaping.

The video shown in court shows the attack on Lewandowski from only a few feet away. The video was introduced into evidence by Assistant District Attorney Timothy D. Horne at the time his only witness was on the stand. Carter County Investigator Chris Reichenbach said he first learned about the video when Miller had been arrested on unrelated charges.

A co-defendant told him about the video on her cellphone, but Miller refused his request to examine the phone. Later, he heard about the video from another tipster, and this time Miller gave written consent to an Elizabethton Police Department investigator to search the phone.

The video was of poor quality, but it was determined during the search that the video had been sent to Miller’s phone by Silcox. Later, the investigators were able to search Silcox’s cellphone and found the better quality video that was shown in court on Wednesday.

According to the testimony, Silcox took video of the event and Kelly acted as the lookout.

While the video shows the attack, defense attorneys argued there were plenty of other factors not shown.

Ryan Curtis, defense attorney for Miller, said none of the testimony or the video shows premeditation, the key element in proving attempted first-degree murder.

Patrick Denton, the attorney for Silcox, and Russell Kloosterman, attorney for Kelly, said the video did not show their clients attacking Lewandowski. 

Jason Holly, Dye’s attorney, said he had just been provided with copies of Lewandowski’s medical records, and said they were surprising in that there were no more serious injuries to the head and neck.

After the hearing, prosecutor Horne pondered the impact the video made by the defendants had on the hearing.

“I have always heard that the coming of technology would have a tremendous benefit for law enforcement and prosecutors, but I don’t think any of us ever dreamed that it would be the use of that technology by criminals that would make our work easier.”

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