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Wickliffe family wants murder trial moved to Jefferson County

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By Staff

As many attended various Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations over the weekend, one local family gathered in Louisville in a call for justice of their own. 

Family, friends and supporters of Rasheed Javon Wickliffe, an 18-year-old Bardstown man killed Dec. 1, 2015, gathered around the Jefferson County Judicial Center Sunday to call attention to the murder.

“We don’t have closure,” Gwen Wickliffe, Rasheed’s mom told Louisville news stations during Sunday’s gathering.

The family has stated they believed racial bias and a corrupt court system have played a part in the more than yearlong delays of the trial for Alexander Cole Roberts, who is charged in the slaying. Roberts’ bond was recently reduced after a mistrial was declared in November, and he is no longer in jail.

“There is no way we are going to find 12 jurors to convict Alex Roberts of murder,” Monica Mitchell, Rasheed’s aunt reported to Louisville TV Sunday speaking about the Nelson County proceedings and the family's efforts. “If we have the knowledge and the understanding to do something about it, we are going to do everything we can.”

Sunday’s event was not the first time the family has taken action to try and change how the case is being pursued. On Dec. 14, a motion was filed in Nelson Circuit Court asking Judge John David Seay to recuse himself from the case, citing failed public confidence, failure to execute fair and objective proceedings and a personal bias involving several parties. The first motion was denied and a second motion asking for the same was filed a few weeks later. The second motion was originally set to be reviewed Jan. 5, but was continued to Jan. 27, according to case files. Currently, Roberts’ trial is set for Feb. 22.

Wickliffe died of a puncture wound to the neck, and was found dead in front of the Bloomfield Post Office, a short distance from Roberts' home. An investigation into events leading up to the death, as well as witness statements, connect Roberts to the scene.