FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Supreme Court is set to hear an appeal in the long-running case of an escaped inmate from the Bryan County Jail in Durant facing a death sentence in the slaying of a Kentucky distillery worker.
The justices will hear the case of 56-year-old Michael Dale St. Clair on Feb. 13 in Frankfort. St. Clair is appealing the conviction and sentence out of Bullitt County in the 1991 shooting death of Francis “Frank” Brady of Bardstown.
St. Clair has also been sentenced to death in Hardin County on a charge of capital kidnapping stemming from Brady’s disappearance from a rest stop along Interstate 65.
Prosecutors said St. Clair and another escaped inmate, Dennis Gene Reese, were on a multi-state crime spree when they kidnapped Brady to steal his truck and later killed him near Lebanon Junction.
Reese and St. Clair had broken out of the Bryan County Jail in Durant, Okla., on Sept. 19, 1991. At the time, St. Clair was awaiting transfer to prison after being convicted of the murders of his uncle, Ronnie Lee St. Clair, and William Henry Kelsey Jr., the man he had hired to kill his uncle.
Reese was awaiting trial on charges of strangling and beating a woman to death.
The two men are also charged in New Mexico with the 1991 kidnapping and shooting death of 22-year-old Timothy Keeling of Denver.
Prosecutors say St. Clair and Reese posed as buyers interested in purchasing Keeling’s truck, then kidnapped him. Reese drove as Keeling sat next to him and St. Clair held a .357 magnum revolver in the passenger seat. They stopped near Clayton, N.M., a small crossroads town, where prosecutors say St. Clair ordered Keeling out of the truck and shot him.
St. Clair’s case has bounced around Kentucky’s legal system for two decades. He has been tried three times in Hardin County.