Searcy gets April 1 court date

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By Lisa King

Jeana Searcy, 19, of Waddy appeared in Shelby Circuit Court on March 1 for a disposition hearing on charges of reckless homicide in the death last June of her best friend, Samantha Mathus-Cooper.

She was arraigned before Circuit Judge Charles Hickman nearly two months after she was indicted in connection with the death of Mathus-Cooper, 18, who was killed in a car accident last June in which Searcy was driving.

The accident happened just a few days before the two girls were supposed to graduate from high school.

The crash happened when Searcy ran off the road and through a wooden fence on Burks Branch Road, flipping the car several times.

Searcy's passengers also included Samantha's brother, Matthew Mathus, 24, and Michael Rice, 20.

Speed was determined to be a factor in the crash.

Commonwealth's Attorney Laura Donnell has said that Searcy could incur additional charges related to the accident in connection with the injuries of her passengers, but so far no other charges are pending.

Searcy was given a court date of April 1 for a new disposition hearing, which is just to let the court know how the case is proceeding.

She is being represented by attorney William E. Johnson of Frankfort, and she remains free on her own recognizance.

Searcy and Mathus-Cooper, seniors at Shelby County High School, had skipped their awards night and spending the evening together, because Mathus-Cooper was to leave the next day to be with her husband at Fort Campbell.

The accident, which occurred around 9 p.m., came just after the group had left Clear Creek Park because of an impending storm.