Hearing delayed in fatal hit and run case

SHELLEY BYRNE/The Mayfield Messenger

Jasmine Rupcke (right) consults with her defense attorney, Jeanné Carroll, during a hearing Monday in Graves Circuit Court.

A woman charged in connection with a fatal Mayfied hit-and-run wreck late last year has two more weeks to decide whether to plead guilty or take her case to trial.

"There's still some discovery we're looking at that has been provided by the Commonwealth," Jeanné Carroll, attorney for Jasmine Rupcke, said after Rupcke's hearing Monday morning in Graves Circuit Court.

"She's still evaluating her options," she added.

Graves County Circuit Judge Tim Stark continued Rupcke's case for two weeks, rescheduling for Aug. 19.

Graves County Commonwealth Attorney Richie Kemp said he didn't mind the delay since Rupcke has a new court-appointed attorney, and the office had to re-send some of the case information to make sure the defense had all of it. As far as he is concerned, he said, Rupcke either needs to take the deal that has been offered to her -- the details of which he did not disclose -- or ask for a trial.

Rupcke could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of all the charges of tampering with a witness, leaving the scene of an accident/failure to render aid or assistance with death or serious physical injury, failure to produce an insurance card, failure to register the transfer of a motor vehicle and not having a driver's license.

According to the Graves County Sheriff's Office citation in Rupcke's public court file, Rupcke admitted driving a van that hit and killed a pedestrian, Amanda Czerwien of Mayfield, about 6 p.m. on Dec. 17 on U.S. 45, north of Mayfield as Czerwien was walking home from her shift at the Pilgrim's Pride poultry processing plant.

According to the citation, Rupcke said she stopped and called her passenger's mother after the wreck to tell her they were going to the hospital because her passenger was hurt from the impact. She then went to a home on Dorothy Lane, where a friend called state police to report an accident involving a deer.

• Also in court Monday, a special prosecutor asked for two additional weeks to decide whether to object to an expungement being filed in the conviction of former Mayfield dentist Dr. Wesley Mills.

Jamey Mills, assistant McCracken commonwealth attorney, said he needs more time to become familiar with the underlying case. The prosecutor is not related to the defendant. Attorney Bryan Wilson was in court to represent Dr. Mills.

In September 2017, Mills pleaded guilty to two counts of tampering with physical evidence and two counts of conspiracy to obtain controlled substances by fraud and entered an agreement in which they were supervised by the Kentucky Department of Probation and Parole rather than serve five-year sentences.

Mills and a co-defendant, David Clymer, were arrested after the Kentucky Office of the Inspector General received a complaint about "doctor shopping," in which people visit more than one doctor to receive medication, from both men. The complaint led to an investigation by the Kentucky State Police Drug Enforcement/Special Investigations unit and charges in both Graves and McCracken counties.

Stark also continued Mills' case review until Aug. 19.