New trial date set for Proctorville couple

Published 9:52 am Thursday, September 6, 2012

Motions still to be ruled on


The judge in the case of husband and wife accused of first-degree rape and complicity, respectively, has set a new trial date.

Judge Charles Cooper continued the trial of Don and Beverly Copley, of 1518 County Road 70, to the week of Nov. 26. The trial had originally been set for Sept. 17.

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It is still undecided who will stand trial first, Don Copley, 69, charged with 51 counts of first-degree rape, or Beverly Copley, 56, charged with 41 counts of first-degree complicity to rape.

The trial was moved to give new attorneys in the case an opportunity to become familiar with the case.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Brigham Anderson said numerous subpoenas were issued for the trial and witnesses had already made plans to appear for the September trial date. However, he said, he would notify the victims in the case that there was a necessity to continue the trial.

Last week, Don Copley appeared in court without representation. Since then, Columbus-based attorney Robert Krapence, has taken the case, after being hired and then withdrawing due to scheduling conflicts with the September trial date.

In court Aug. 22, the Copleys sought new representation for their cases, prompting their court-appointed attorneys to withdraw.

Ironton attorney Chris Delawder and Ashland, Ky., attorney Mike Curtis, previously represented Don Copley. Attorney Mike Gleichauf represented Beverly Copley, but withdrew after the woman hired attorney Sterling Gill, also of Columbus.

There are also motions in the case that have yet to be decided on.

The motions include consolidating the two separate cases into one. There are also motions to amend complaints in the case and to correct dates mentioned in the indictments.

In March, the couple voluntarily turned themselves into authorities after learning of the indictments against them that were issued by the Lawrence County Grand Jury in late February.

Don Copley’s charges included “engaging in sexual conduct” with four girls who were under the age of 13 at the time of the alleged incidents.

The indictment alleges 10 incidents with one victim took place between 1991 and 1997. It alleges 20 incidents took place with the second child between 1991 and 1996.

Copley is accused of criminal activity with the third child 10 times between 1993 and 1996 and 10 more times between 1996 and 2001. The last indictment alleges one act with the fourth child sometime between June and August of 2011.

Beverly Copley’s 41 charges were first-degree complicity to rape.

The indictment alleged she aided her husband in 41 of his 51 alleged sex crimes.

The couple remains out on bond and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole if convicted of the charges.