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By SHARON GRAVES
A year after a motorcycle accident took the life of a young woman and her unborn baby, the motorcycle driver, Bernard Kalep King, 25, has been arrested according to Shively Police Chief Ralph Miller.
Peggy Ann Brandie Chadwell, 25, of Main Street, Carrollton, was a passenger on King’s bike and was killed July 2, 2007, when the bike crashed along Interstate 264, just inside the Shively city limits.
Miller said King has been charged with having no motorcycle license or insurance for the bike at the time of the wreck.
“He is scheduled to be arraigned July 21 in Jefferson County District Court,” Miller said.
“No other charges are pending at this time,” Miller said, but added that the “investigation is ongoing.”
There are questions as to whether King was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident.
Chadwell’s mother, Maggie Briley, said she doesn’t understand why King hasn’t yet been charged in her daughter and granddaughters’ deaths.
Miller said, however, that a blood test was given to King when he arrived at University Hospital in Louisville after the accident. But, due to a technicality, the test results are not admissible in court. Miller explained that no subpoena for the results was issued in time. Too much time had elapsed for the test to be used as evidence, Miller explained.
“Unfortunately, mistakes are made, whether it was something that was done [incorrectly] or something that wasn’t done,” Miller said. “Police are human, too.”
He said he understands that the family may be frustrated with what may be seen as slow justice.
“This is a tragic situation the family is dealing with,” Miller said.
If found guilty for not having an operator’s licence, King faces only a fine. Failing to maintain insurance, however, is a misdemeanor that carries a prison term of up to 12 months and a fine of up to $500, Miller said.
In court documents, the address listed for King is the same as Jennifer Stewart's address on Hunter’s Ridge in Carrollton. Court records indicate Stewart is King's sister, however, she is actually his mother.
King is the father of Chadwell’s first child, a 3-year-old, and was the father of the infant killed in the accident.
At the time of the accident, Chadwell was six months pregnant. The baby, a girl named Brandie Ann, was delivered at the hospital, but died soon after. Her mother died the next day, July 3. They were buried together.
Driver has extensive
King’s criminal record is extensive, encompassing several manila file folders measuring several inches thick.
The records show he has multiple violations for cocaine use and multiple parole violations following previous convictions. In fact, while on parole in 2004 for a previous conviction, he tested positive for cocaine use and his parole was revoked.
Additional charges filed against King have included domestic violence, possession of a deadly weapon, associating with a convicted felon and being a persistent felony offender.
That charge was dismissed in court in September 2004 when King pleaded guilty to first-degree promoting contraband. He was sentenced to a year in prison. Had he been convicted as a persistent felon, he could have been sentenced to another 10 years in prison.
King’s record shows that he and his family have spent thousands of dollars in court costs and fines since he first entered the court system at age 19.
King and Chadwell’s family are locked in an ongoing custody battle for the 3-year-old. Jennifer Stewart has sole custody, but Briley is challenging that decision. Both sides are due in Carroll County District Court at 11 a.m. Aug. 8, when a judge will determine if there is cause for a new custody hearing.