Potential key evidence missing in case against one Eastern Kentucky lawmaker accused of assault

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 9:50 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - Update (Jan. 14, 2021): The Lexington-Herald is reporting the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office lost a potentially important piece of evidence in the case against State Representative Robert Goforth.

Rep. Goforth, a Republican from East Bernstadt, is accused of strangling his wife, according to defense attorneys.

The missing piece of evidence is a digital recording of police interviewing the wife of Rep. Goforth, Ashley Goforth.

Ashley Goforth told police her husband tried to “hog tie” her during an argument and then wrapped a computer cable around her neck leading her to not be able to breath.

“It certainly is odd, in a case with the public scrutiny as great as this one, that law enforcement would ‘lose’ the alleged victim’s recorded interview,” Robert Goforth’s attorneys said in a motion.

Defense attorneys asked a judge to either suppress the statement from Ashley Goforth or, if the tape isn’t found and the case goes to a jury, to tell jurors that if the recording had been available it would have been favorable to Robert Goforth’s defense.

Laurel County Sheriff John Root was not available for comment Thursday morning.

The motion is scheduled for a hearing next month.

The case against Robert Goforth started last April. He’s pleaded not guilty and still easily won re-election in November.

Original story - January 13, 2021:

On Wednesday, Kentucky House Speaker David Osborne (R-Prospect) said that the House of Representatives will send a citizen’s petition calling for the impeachment of Rep. Robert Goforth (R-East Bernstadt) to the same impeachment committee investigating a petition to impeach Gov. Andy Beshear, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

The committee was formed because state law requires the Speaker of the House to form an impeachment committee once petitions are filed by members of the public.

Rep. Goforth challenged and lost sitting Republican then-Governor Matt Bevin in the 2019 gubernatorial primary. Rep. Goforth was indicted in September on charges of assault and strangulation. He easily won re-election in November with nearly 71 percent of the vote.

The newspaper reports that Wednesday’s petition against Rep. Goforth is a political repercussion of Speaker Osbourne’s formation of an impeachment committee against Gov. Beshear. Some Democrats have mentioned filing a petition against Attorney General Daniel Cameron for his handling of the Breonna Taylor case.

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