Houck enters not guilty plea, judge to review request to lower $10 million bond

Brooks Houck participated in his court appearance Thursday,, Oct. 5, 2023,, by video teleconference from the Hardin County Detention Center. Houck is charged with murder and tampering with evidence in the Crystal Rogers case.

Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Thursday, Oct. 5, 2023 — With a crush of state and national media in attendance physically and electronically, the man charged with the murder of Crystal Rogers entered a not guilty plea Thursday afternoon via video teleconference in Nelson Circuit Court.

Appearing from the Hardin County Detention Center, Houck stood quietly and showed no emotion while his attorney, Brian Butler, told Circuit Judge Charles Simms that his client was pleading not guilty to the charge of murder and tampering with physical evidence.

Houck’s defense team argues in favor of reducing his $10 million bond during Thursday’s court hearing at the Nelson County Justice Center. Click to enlarge.

BOND REDUCTION. Much of the hourlong hearing was devoted to Houck’s defense team defending their request to reduce his $10 million bond. In his court filing, Butler called the $10 million bond “excessive” and “punitive.”

Houck has no prior criminal record, Butler explained, and he had cooperated fully with police during the investigation. Butler offered a lengthy list of murder defendants in Kentucky whose bonds were $1 million or less.

Because of his business and family ties to Nelson County, Butler argued that Houck was not a flight risk or a danger to others in the community.

Prosecutor Shane Young defended the $10 million bond, citing Houck’s multi-million dollar real estate holdings, adding that bonds are often set at higher amounts for individuals with substantial financial means.

Young told the court they had identified property with a tax value of more than $8 million owned by three of Houck’s limited liability companies. And this did not include rental property income or the proceeds from his construction business.

RECORDED GRAND JURY PROCEEDINGS. Young went on to accuse Houck and some members of his family of secretly recording their individual testimony before a Nelson County grand jury investigating Crystal Rogers’ disappearance.

Young said that Brooks Houck, his brother Nick, his mother Rosemary Houck and other family members secretly recorded their testimony when they appeared before a Nelson County grand jury.

Grand jury proceedings are secret, and recording them is against the law. Young told the court that the recordings show that the family members wanted to make sure all of their stories were consistent prior to appearing before the grand jury.

RULING SOON. Simms told Young and the defense counsel that he would review all of the filings submitted to the court in regard to the bond reduction request and issue a decision soon.

NEXT UP. Houck’s next court appearance was tentatively is set for Thursday, February 8, 2024.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Please follow and like us:

Comments are closed

Subscribe to get new posts in your email!