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Alleged accomplice released on bond

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McKinney under house arrest after Monday jail release

By Sharon Graves

Michelle McKinney, 31, indicted Feb. 9 for an alleged role in the January robbery of Carrollton’s First National Bank, was released from jail Monday after family members posted a $50,000 property bond.

Initially, Circuit Court Judge Stephen Bates ordered McKinney held in lieu of a $50,000 cash bond. He agreed to amend the terms to a property bond, after McKinney’s attorney Joe Wells argued that his client has children, has strong roots to the community and has a clean record, and is not a flight risk.

Court records indicate Andrew and Esther McKinney pledged the $50,000 property bond for her release.

McKinney faces a charge of  first-degree complicity to robbery, a Class B felony. McKinney allegedly aided Cecil Messer, 45, in the Jan. 23 bank heist. It is not clear what role investigators believe she played.

Messer was indicted Feb. 9 of second-degree robbery, also a Class B felony. He remains jailed at Carroll County Regional Detention Center on a $100,000 cash bond.

In the meantime, a special prosecutor was named to handle the case. Linda Tally Smith, commonwealth’s attorney for Boone and Gallatin Counties, will take over for Carroll County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Crawford. Crawford recused himself because he is a member of the bank’s board of directors.

Smith’s colleague, Kurt Kruthoffer, was named lead prosecutor in the case. McKinney’s next court date is March 23.

According to court documents,  the conditions of McKinney’s bond  are that she be on house arrest at 1214 Ninth St., Carrollton, and may leave the house only to go to court, to her attorney’s office, or doctor’s office, and that she must report for pretrial services.

Additionally, McKinney:

  • cannot enter either office of First National Bank;
  • must have no contact of any kind with Cecil Messer, whom she allegedly aided in carrying out the heist;
  • must have absolutely no contact of any kind with her boyfriend, Ray Hugee;
  • must refrain from using alcohol or drugs;
  • must submit to periodic drug testing; and
  • cannot enter a bar or any establishment that sells alcohol.

The court document states that if McKinney is found in violation of any of these conditions, the property posted on her behalf will be forfeited and she will return to jail.