MOUNT WASHINGTON - A man accused of threatening to kill a Bullitt district judge could spend the next five years in prison.
A Bullitt Circuit Court jury found Terry G. Hayes, 50, guilty of retaliating against a participant in a legal proceeding and possession of drug paraphernalia.
He was found not guilty of possession of a controlled substance.
Hayes went on Nov. 3, 2008, to pick up a vehicle which had been towed when he made threats to kill District Judge Rebecca Ward, who had ruled on several previous cases involving the defendant.
Bullitt County Sheriff’s Det. Scotty McGaha acquired a search warrant for Hayes’ home. When they conducted the search, they located a small amount of a substance which was determined to be cocaine.
There was also a small pipe which also had traces of cocaine.
During his closing argument, prosecutor Nick Raley said that any judge, prosecutor, witness or juror is part of the legal process and are protected under the law.
“He made threats that he would kill her,” Raley said of Hayes.
Even a witness who said he didn’t hear any threats agreed that Hayes did not like the judge.
Raley said it was evident that Hayes did not like the person who had presided over nine previous cases against him.
“Mr. Hayes is here today because of his conduct,” said Raley. “He has nobody to blame but himself.”
The eight-man, four-woman jury deliberated for about 20 minutes before finding Hayes guilty of a Class D felony for retaliation against a participant in a legal proceeding.
They also found him guilty of a misdemeanor for possession of drug paraphernalia.
During the sentencing phase, jurors learned that Hayes had been convicted of a felony in Jefferson County for possession of cocaine. He entered a plea in January 2008 and was placed on five years of pre-trial diversion for the two-year sentence.
Due to the past felony, Hayes also faced a charge of being a persistent felony offender.
He could be given a sentence of 5-10 years.
Raley asked for a full 10-year sentence.
The jury deliberated for 20 minutes to determine the penalty.
Hayes would receive a $500 fine for the misdemeanor and a one-year sentence for the retaliation charge but that would be enhanced to five years due to the PFO conviction.
Special Circuit Judge Stephen Ryan set final sentencing for 11:30 a.m. on Aug. 31.
Raley said that before that date, Hayes would face a revocation hearing in Jefferson Circuit Court and he could be required to serve the two-year sentence in addition to the five years in Bullitt County.