Jury finds Polson not guilty in murder case

By Joe P. Asher jasher@civitasmedia.com

April 15, 2014

Following nearly two days of deliberations in Harlan Circuit Court, a jury has returned a verdict of not guilty for a Cumberland man on trial for murder.

Thomas Polson, 37, stood with his attorneys Kellie Wilson and Katie Gilliam as Special Judge David Williams read the jury’s verdict. Charges of robbery and tampering with evidence had been previously dismissed via a directed verdict earlier in the trial.

Before the jury entered the courtroom, Williams told those in attendance to respect the jury’s decision and each other.

“There’s a lot of emotion on both sides,” said Williams.

After reading the verdict, Williams allowed Polson and his attorneys to exit the courtroom. He then thanked the jury for their service and allowed the jury to leave the building before anyone else left the courtroom. The victim’s family was then given the same opportunity to exit the building. After it was verified the jury and family members had exited, Williams adjourned court.

The jury began deliberations after the defense rested on Monday just before 5 p.m. After about four hours, the jury was released because a juror became ill and needed to go home to take diabetes medication.

Deliberations were set to begin at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, but due to a juror’s illness deliberations did not begin until 1 p.m. It is not known if it was the same juror who became ill Monday night.

According to a previous report, Polson was arrested with Justin Simpson following an indictment being handed down by the grand jury. Stephen Cody Simpson was indicted in September on charges of complicity to murder and tampering with physical evidence. The charges against Justin Simpson were dropped about a week before Polson’s trial began.

Feltner was reported missing in July 2011 by family members. His body was discovered days later on an abandoned strip mine known locally as “The Flats” in the Blair community. The body was found by man who was riding an ATV with his grandson on July 25. Feltner was last seen on July 15.

Joe P. Asher may be reached at 606-573-4510, ext. 1161 or on Twitter #joe_hde