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NEW INFO: Plea Deal in Grayson Beating Death

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 2/4/13 @ 2 p.m.
GRAYSON, Ky. (WSAZ) -- One of the two men indicted in connection with the beating death of a Grayson, Ky. man last year agreed to a plea deal Monday.

Bryan Rice, 38, and Clifford Cathey, 34, both of Grayson, were charged with one count of first-degree manslaughter in the death of 42-year-old Heath Toney of Grayson.

The incident happened near the intersection of 4th Street and Robert and Mary Avenue in Grayson shortly before dawn on New Year's Day 2012.

According to the indictment, the men intended to cause serious physical injury to Toney when they struck and kicked him, which caused his death.

Toney died on January 13 at a Huntington hospital.

Monday, Rice pleaded guilty to first-degree facilitation of manslaughter during a hearing Carter County Circuit Court.

Rice received a five-year sentence with the understanding that he cooperates in Cathey’s prosecution.

April Frazier is the sister of the victim, Heath Toney, and spoke prior to the sentencing.

Frazier said the family was not aware of the plea agreement, and did not agree with the deal offered.

The agreement was originally set up by the previous Commonwealth Attorney, Eric Conn who was defeated in the November election.

Although the victim's family disagrees with the agreement, it is up to the Commonwealth of Kentucky to make that decision, according to the judge.

Frazier said her family feels that Rice is a threat to the community.

"This time it was my brother, next time it could be someone else. My brother has three young children who cry every night because they're terrified to walk out the door because they're terrified it's going to be them next," Frazier said.

Frazier spoke to WSAZ.com following the hearing and said she just wanted to see justice.

“This guy gets five years because he was kind enough to stand there and watch him be murdered, he did nothing to help, he did nothing to stop it. He's the reason he was down on the ground to be murdered in the first place," said Frazier.

Cathey is expected back in court for a status hearing later this month.

During their preliminary hearing, both men admitted to police they had argued with Toney before the assault and Rice admitted knocking him to the ground.

The Carter County Grand Jury also indicted Cathey on one count of being a persistent felony offender.



UPDATE 2/21/12 @ 3:15 p.m.
GRAYSON, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Two men indicted in connection with the alleged beating death of a Grayson, Ky. man earlier this year were in court Tuesday morning.

Bryan Rice, 38, and Clifford Cathey, 34, both of Grayson, are each charged with one count of first-degree manslaughter in the death of 42-year-old Heath Toney of Grayson.

According to the indictment, on January 1, the men intended to cause serious physical injury to Toney when they struck and kicked him, which caused his death.

Toney died on January 13 at a Huntington Hospital.

A published report says the the incident happened near the intersection of 4th Street and Robert and Mary Avenue shortly before dawn on New Year's Day.

The report also indicated that during a preliminary hearing, both men admitted to police they had argued with Toney before the assault and Rice admitted knocking him to the ground.

During the hearing Tuesday in Carter County Circuit Court both men entered automatic not guilty pleas.

Bond was set at $250,000. No word on when they will be back in court.

The Carter County Grand Jury also indicted Cathey on one count of being a persistent felony offender.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY 2/15/12
GRAYSON, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Two men have been indicted in connection with the alleged beating death of a Grayson, Ky. man earlier this year.

Bryan Rice, 38, and Clifford Cathey, 34, both of Grayson, are each charged with one count of 1st degree manslaughter in the death of 42-year-old Heath Toney of Grayson.

According to the indictment, on January 1, the men intended to cause serious physical injury to Toney when they struck and kicked him, which caused his death.

Toney died on January 13 at a Huntington Hospital.

The Carter County Grand Jury also indicted Cathey on one count of being a persistent felony offender.

The indictments were returned on February 3.

The Circuit Clerk’s Office says court dates for the two men have not been set at this time.


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