Pelfrey faces new charge for threatening court official

Published 5:06 pm Monday, November 20, 2017

A Winchester man facing manslaughter and assault charges from a deadly crash allegedly threatened to kill a court official Thursday afternoon.

James Pelfrey, 85, of 430 Colby Ridge Blvd., was charged Friday with retaliating against a participant in the legal process.

Pelfrey was in Clark Circuit Court Thursday for a competency hearing in his manslaughter case. Competency hearings are generally closed to the public.

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According to the arrest citation, Pelfrey said “he was going to shoot them on the courthouse steps.”

Officers searched Pelfrey’s residence Friday and found ammunition for a handgun, according to the citation.

“The threat was to do harm to the victim,” Winchester Police Capt. James Hall said. The victim was not identified.

Monday afternoon, a district judge entered an automatic not-guilty plea for Pelfrey, because the charge is a felony. A preliminary hearing to establish probable cause was scheduled for Nov. 29.

Pelfrey is being held on a $2,500 bond. Clark Circuit Clerk Paula Joslin said Pelfrey was free on bond for his manslaughter case.

Pelfrey was initially arrested following a June 7, 2016, crash on Bypass Road that killed two Richmond women and injured a third. Police said two vehicles had slowed or stopped for a traffic light when Pelfrey allegedly did not stop and hit a Ford Aspire at highway speeds.

Two of the women in the car, Sarah Helfrich and Juanetta Mitchell were killed. The survivor, Sadalia Mitchell, was flown to a Lexington hospital for treatment. A driver of a third vehicle was also injured.

Pelfrey’s manslaughter case was continued until Jan. 4, 2018.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email or call 859-759-0051.

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