Trial set for man charged with murder, rape

Rodney Elam

Rodney Elam, 29, Mount Vernon, will appear for a court date of October 7 after it was determined by Judge Cole Adams Maier Thursday afternoon.

A mediation is expected to take place in September, and if it results in resolution, a sooner date can be expected. No trial date has been discussed.

Elam faces murder and rape charges, along with other charges, connected with an incident which happened at a Berea McDonald’s 2019.

According to a previous Register article, Elam faces 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.

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.

A previous Register article states, 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 and neurological damage due to lack of oxygen, the citation noted. She was later transported to Lexington, where she died.

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

According to Elam's indictment, he is being charged with murder for failing to seek medical assistance for Boyken, under the 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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