HomeCrimeCourts Keep Suspect Brooks Houck’s Bond at $10m, Refuse to Remove Judge...

Courts Keep Suspect Brooks Houck’s Bond at $10m, Refuse to Remove Judge – Crime Online

A Kentucky appeals court and the state’s Supreme Court have issued rulings against Brooks Houck, the man charged with killing mom of five Crystal Rogers in 2015 and who remains in jail on a $10 million bond.

Rogers, a 35-year-old Kentucky mother of 5, was last seen at the Houck family farm  in July 2015. Days later, her car was found abandoned on the Bluegrass Parkway with her keys, phone, and purse still inside, as CrimeOnline reported. Rogers’ body has not been found.

Houck, from a well-connected and well-to-do Kentucky family, was named the prime suspect in Rogers’ disappearance in 2015 but wasn’t arrested until September. Prosecutors argued for the steep bond, citing the potential for him to intimidate witnesses.

Houck’s attorneys argued that he needed to be released on bond and asked for a $500,000 bond so he could take care of his multi-million business, saying he was not a flight risk. Nelson County Court Judge Charles Simms set the bond at $10 million, however, and Houck’s attorneys promptly appealed.

The appeals court issued an order affirming Simms’ ruling on the matter on Tuesday, noting that “Houck has failed to sufficiently meet the burden of proof demonstrating the bond set is excessive,” WHAS reported.

The court agreed that Houck was a low flight risk but said that was “offset by the trial court’s finding that Houck constituted a danger to potential witnesses.”

“When there are indications a defendant and potential accomplices pose a danger to witnesses and to the integrity of the proceedings, a higher bond than that typically set may be warranted,” the appeals court wrote in a 16-page ruling, further noting that in such cases bond could be denied altogether.

The ruling also noted that Houck’s family members have been accused of recording secret grand jury proceedings and that prosecutors have alleged that Houck’s brother, Nick Houck, may have been involved in the death of Tommy Ballard, Rogers’ father, WDRB reported. The court also said that Houck has the financial means to pay the bond.

Meanwhile, the Kentucky Supreme Court ended Houck’s attempt to have Simms removed from the case completely for “bias,” WHAS said.

“The defendant failed to demonstrate any disqualifying circumstance that would require the appointment of a special judge,” Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice Laurance B. VanMeter wrote in the ruling.

Houck was arrested shortly after the arrest of Joseph Lawson, 32, on charges of conspiracy to commit murder and tampering with evidence in the case.

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[Featured image: Crystal Rogers/handout. Inset: Brooks Houck/handout]

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