Crystal Rogers defendants appear together Thursday in Nelson Circuit Court

Brooks Houck, left, is greeted by his defense attorneys as he enters the Nelson Circuit Courtroom Thursday afternoon, Feb. 8, 2024.

Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024 — The three defendants in the Crystal Rogers case were in court at the Nelson County Justice Center Thursday afternoon for an update before Nelson Circuit Judge Charles Simms III.

Brooks Houck, Steven Lawson and his son, Joseph Lawson, entered the courtroom once the younger Lawson arrived at the courthouse from the Kentucky State Reformatory.

Brooks Houck entered the courtroom wearing handcuffs, a black and white striped jail outfit, and sporting a “buzz cut” style haircut.

The trio appeared before a packed courtroom that was standing room only. Members of Crystal Rogers’ family filled the front of one side of the gallery.

The hearing was delayed nearly 40 minutes because Joseph Lawson’s transport from the Kentucky State Reformatory was late. The actual hearing took less than 15 minutes.

Prosecutors reported to Judge Simms that so far, they had turned over approximately 1.1 TB of evidence as part of discovery that prosecutors are sharing with the defense attorneys. Prosecutors said they expect to have an additional 1 TB of evidence to turn over to complete discovery in the case.

The judge and attorneys briefly discussed a time frame for a trial, which could be as soon as February 2025. The judge set the next hearing for the case for 1 p.m. Thursday, March 21, 2024. Prosecutors said they expect to have all

Judge Simms dismissed Houck, Steven Lawson and their attorneys while he took up a bond reduction request for Joseph Lawson.

Lawson is confined to a wheelchair and is not a flight risk, his attorney explained. Prosecutors pointed to Lawson’s lengthy criminal history and argued the bond should remain the same.

Judge Simms said he would have a ruling issued on the bond reduction on Monday, Feb. 12, 2024.


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