Nearly two years after the death of 14-year-old Samson Callender, a trial date has been set for the man responsible.
At a brief and purposeful pretrial conference Friday, Jan. 27, Kevin French and his attorney Jeff Hill informed the court that they were ready to set a date. The court granted the request and scheduled the matter for trial 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 6. Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Terry Beckner requested that the defense disclose any experts they man call on by April 28.
“That sounds reasonable Mr. Beckner,’ said Knox County Circuit Judge Gregory A. Lay. “I’ll sustain your request.”
In August of 2015, French, 28 of Keavy, was on duty as an ambulance driver for Knox EMS. French was transporting a patient to Baptist Health Corbin when the vehicle dropped off the left shoulder of the road on U.S. 25E near Sammie’s Auction House in Gray and struck three juveniles on bicycles. Callender was pronounced dead at the scene. The two other victims were transported to Baptist Health Corbin.
Approximately two hours after the collision, blood samples were taken from French, which indicated the presence of marijuana in his system.
French has a history of traffic-related charges. The original indictment stated that French was traveling at approximately 70 mph in a 55mph zone.
French was charged with two counts of second degree assault, speeding 15 mph over limit and manslaughter.
A final pretrial conference was scheduled for Wednesday, May 31.