4 bound over to Grand Jury in attempted murder case

Published 5:25 pm Thursday, July 12, 2018

Four individuals charged in connection with an attempted murder case will have their charges sent to a Grand Jury following a court hearing on Wednesday.

In late June, deputies with the Carter County Sheriff’s Department arrested Kasey Miller, 31, of 1932 Bristol Highway, Elizabethton, Michael Silcox, 41, 197 Carl Smith Road, Hampton, Matthew Dye, 20, no address available, and Ross Kelley Jr., 38, of 507 E. Fairview Road, Johnson City, and charged each of them with attempted first-degree murder.

When Miller was arraigned in General Sessions Court, District Attorney General Tim Horne petitioned the court to amend the charges against her to also include a count of especially aggravated kidnapping.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Miller, Silcox, Dye, and Kelley all appeared in General Sessions Court Wednesday afternoon for a preliminary hearing in the case against them.

At the beginning of Wednesday’s hearing, Horne petitioned the court to amend the charges against Silcox, Dye, and Kelley to also include a count of especially aggravated kidnapping.

The charges against all four stem from an investigation into a tip received by law enforcement officers of a video showing a man being assaulted by Miller. During Wednesday’s hearing, Carter County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Chris Reichenbach testified regarding the investigation and the discovery of the video, which was played for the court as part of the officer’s testimony.

Reichenbach testified that Miller, Silcox, Dye, and Kelley had all been with the alleged victim, identified as Matthew Lewandowski, on the date the assault allegedly occurred, and they had all been using drugs. At some point in the day, Reichenbach said an argument began between Miller and Lewandowski with Miller accusing Lewandowski of stealing drugs from her.

During the investigation, Reichenbach said officers learned Lewandowski was taken forcibly against his will to a location on Rasnick Hollow Road where the assault occurred.

Reichenbach said the video officers located on Miller’s cell phone and also on Silcox’s cell phone shows Miller striking Lewandowski multiple times with a baseball bat. During the assault, Reichenbach said Miller was directing the others and had Dye bring a knife over and stand on Lewandowski’s arm. He said Dye then cut Lewandowski on the neck with a knife.

“The stab wound was very close to the spinal cord and that very easily could have killed him,” Reichenbach said.

According to Reichenbach, Miller and Dye participated in the assault on Lewandowski while Silcox filmed it and Kelley stood look out for the group.

The video which was played in court shows Miller striking Lewandowski multiple times with a baseball bat, including several blows after Lewandowski fell to the ground. The video also depicts Dye jabbing something into Lewandowski’s neck.

Reichenbach said Lewandowski was treated at the Johnson City Medical Center and was later transferred to the VA Medical Center for additional treatment. He testified that he has received copies of Lewandowski’s medical records from the VA and has put in a request to obtain copies of the medical records from the Johnson City Medical Center.

During the investigation, Reichenbach said he and other investigators interviewed Miller, Kelley, and Silcox about the incident. He said no interview was conducted with Dye because Dye had an attorney appointed to him before they could interview him.

During those interviews, Reichenbach said Silcox told investigators that Miller had threatened him and the others to go with her when she drove Lewandowski to the location on Rasnick Hollow Road. Reichenbach said Kelley described Miller as the orchestrator of the situation and she had ordered him to stand guard during the assault.

Following the testimony by Reichenbach, the state rested their case. None of the attorneys for the four defendants offered any evidence or testimony for the hearing.

During closing arguments, Miller’s attorney Ryan Curtis said the state had not proven any premeditation to attempt to murder Lewandowski, which he said is a required point to substantiate the charge of attempted first-degree murder.

Dye’s attorney Jason Holly argued that based on the records Reichenbach received from the VA, there is no medical evidence to support a charge of first-degree murder. “The medical evidence is just not there to show any intent to kill this victim,” Holly said.

Russell Kloosterman, the attorney for Kelley, and Patrick Denton, the attorney for Silcox, both argued the evidence in the case does not support attempted murder or kidnapping charges against their clients because their clients did not participate in the assault.

Following closing arguments, Judge Keith Bowers Jr. ruled the state had met the burden of proof for probable cause in the case and ordered the charges against all four defendants bound over to a Grand Jury.

Miller remains held at the Carter County Detention Center under a $350,000 bond. Dye, Silcox, and Kelley remain held at the jail under a $250,000 bond each. All four are scheduled to appear in Carter County Criminal Court on September 19.