Woman jailed in Breeden murder is released

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By Shannon Brock

TAYLORSVILLE – Susan Jean King, the Mount Eden woman who served time for the 1998 murder of a Shelbyville man, was released from prison two weeks ago, and her attorneys have filed an appeal in an effort to get a new trial.

King, 52, was indicted on murder charges for the death of Kyle “Deanie” Breeden in April 2007. Two months after the initial indictment, a grand jury also charged King with tampering with physical evidence.

In September 2008, King entered the amended plea of second-degree manslaughter pursuant to North Carolina v. Alford — meaning she did not admit guilt, but she believed there was enough evidence against her that a jury could find her guilty.

King was serving a 10-year sentence and had been incarcerated since April 2007, meaning she served approximately five and a half years.

In May of this year someone else admitted killing Breeden, and King’s attorney, Linda A. Smith of the state’s Innocence Project, entered a motion for a new trial.

Richard Thomas Jarrell Jr., 34, most recently of south Louisville, admitted to Louisville Metro Police that he killed Breeden — and could offer specific details in the case — while being questioned in May about an unrelated incident.

Circuit Court Judge Charles Hickman last month denied King's request for a new trial.

“The Court finds that King’s guilty plea pursuant to North Carolina v. Alford, 400 U.S. 25 (1970) was entered voluntarily and intelligently, and finds no grounds upon which this plea should be vacated...,” Hickman wrote in an opinion and order. “A motion for a ‘new’ trial logically suggests that there was an ‘old’ trial, and that is not the case herein.”

According to court records, King was released from the custody of the Kentucky Department of Corrections on Nov. 5 and ordered to mandatory reentry supervision.

According to KRS 439.3406(1), "The board shall order mandatory reentry supervision for an inmate who has not been granted discretionary parole six months prior to the inmate's minimum expiration of sentence."

Inmates released to mandatory reentry supervision are considered to be released on parole, the statute says, and are assigned parole officers.

No hearing is required for a parole board to order an inmate to mandatory reentry supervision, the statute says.

On the same date King was released from the women's correctional facility in Pewee Valley, her attorney tendered an appeal to Hickman's opinion and order, which overruled the motion for a new trial.

The appeal was entered Nov. 13, along with documentation to proceed "in forma pauperis," which means that King can appeal with no cost to her and that a public advocate, in this case the Innocence Project, is appointed to represent her.

No additional court dates had been scheduled for King as of Tuesday morning.

According to the release notification in King's file, she will reside in Eminence.