Rodney Elam

Rodney Elam

Rodney Elam, 29, of Mount Vernon, faces murder and rape charges, along with other charges, in connection with an incident that happened at a Berea McDonald's last year is now scheduled to stand trial in August.

On Thursday, Judge Jean C. Logue of Circuit Court, Division II, approved the continuation of Elam’s case until Feb. 18.

He is facing additional charges of first-degree controlled substance trafficking (methamphetamine) and first-degree controlled substance possession (methamphetamine). He pleaded not guilty during his initial hearing, according to Commonwealth Attorney David Smith in April 2020.

On March 12, 2020 Judge Logue scheduled his jury trial to start at 9 a.m. on Aug. 24. The deadline for pretrial motions is July 9, according to court paperwork.

In January 2019, Elam made contact with 18-year-old Sarah Boyken, of Waco, and discussed getting high together, according to a previous Register article. Elam told her he would provide the drugs and sent several pictures of what is believed to be methamphetamine along with a pipe, his arrest citation states.

Elam told police he and Boyken were with each other at 11 p.m. on Jan. 7, 2019.

The following day at 5:25 a.m., Elam can be seen on video surveillance at McDonald's carrying Boyken's limp body into the men's restroom before leaving 10 minutes later to go to his vehicle.

Elam then returned to the restroom with two polar pop cups at 5:38 a.m. At 6:01 a.m., Elam emerged from the bathroom and contacted the manager, who called 911, according to an arrest citation.

Boyken was transported to Saint Joseph Hospital Berea unresponsive, suffering from kidney and liver damage, as well as neurological damage due to lack of oxygen, the citation noted. She was later transported to Lexington, where she died.

Elam's vehicle was searched, and suspected methamphetamine was found and sent to the Kentucky State Police Crime Lab for testing, according to the citation.

According to Elam's indictment, he is being charged with murder for failing to seek medical assistance for Boyken, under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to human life, and causing her death. Elam's indictment also states he is charged with first-degree rape by engaging in sexual intercourse with Boyken, who was physically helpless and incapable of giving consent.

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