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 will have a tentative trial date set on April 15.
Judge Jean C. Logue of Circuit Court, Division II, said they would decide on a trial date at this time because April is supposedly when the courts will open back up for trails. Trails have been on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the April date is subject to change.
“When they open up, again right now they say April, we’ve gotten some indications they might stagger it a bit,” Judge Jean C. Logue said. “But even so, we’re obviously going to have a group of trails to figure out.”
So, the date has been set in April so the court can better know what trial times will be available for Elam’s trial.
“Hopefully, in April, we will have the ability to set a time,” Judge Jean C. Logue said.
Brian Barker said the regular mediator would not be available until the end of the year. So, they will be speaking to Judge Jean C. Logue about possibly needing someone else to mediate. This should all be settled by the date of Apr. 15.
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.