A former bookkeeper at a Nelson County abbey and his wife are pleading not guilty to dozens of charges that they took more than $1 million from the religious organization.
John and Carrie Hutchins appeared in a Nelson County courtroom Thursday for an arraignment. They were each indicted earlier this month on a total of 348 charges. Police say John Hutchins began embezzling money from the Abbey of Gethsemani in 2008.
The Catholic monks at the 166-year-old abbey take vows of silence and operate Gethsemani on the profits from selling desserts and cheeses through the mail.
In February, staffers discovered some improper financial transactions and told police. A judge set the trial for September.
John Hutchins has denied the charges and says Abbey leaders made the accusations after he came forward in January with concerns over alleged sexual affairs at the abbey between monks and female lay employees, between monks and outside women, and between a lay supervisor and an employee under his supervision.
An employee at a central Kentucky abbey run by an order of Catholic monks has been indicted on charges that he stole more than $1 million from the institution.
Police say John Hutchins, an accountant, began diverting money from an account at the Abbey of Gethsemani in 2008.
Nelson County Sheriff's Detective Jason Allison says Hutchins and his wife, Carrie Hutchins, were indicted Wednesday on multiple counts of felony theft over and under $10,000 and unlawful access to a computer.
Allison says Hutchins wife did not work at the abbey near Bardstown, which has been run by Roman Catholic Trappist monks for more than 150 years. An attorney for Hutchins did not return a call seeking comment Wednesday. A phone message left at the abbey was not returned.
Kentucky State Police say there is new information in the investigation into the shooting death of Bardstown Police officer Jason Ellis.
An outside K-9 group got involved in the case, according to State Police Trooper Norman Chaffins, and the dog led investigators from the crime scene to a nearby pond. Chaffins says the Louisville Police dive squad is combing the pond for clues.
Chaffins adds, they're not sure what will turn up, but it's just part of the lengthy investigation in which they are leaving no stones unturned.
Officer Ellis was killed in the early morning hours of May 25, while he was cleaning tree limbs from a ramp on the Bluegrass Parkway.
Bardstown police officer Jason Ellis has been buried at a Nelson County cemetery following an emotional funeral service Thursday.
Ellis was shot to death last Saturday after he got out of his cruiser to pick up debris on the Bluegrass Parkway in Nelson County. The murder remains unsolved, with investigators not publicly identifying any suspects or motives in the case.
Hundreds of mourners--many of them police officers from across the state and nation--came to Bardstown Thursday for Officer Ellis' funeral. Friends remembered Ellis as a fun-loving family man who was proud of his work taking drugs off the street with his canine partner.
During the funeral service, a friend spoke of Ellis' previous life as a minor-league baseball player who decided to hang up his cleats and pursue law enforcement once he got married and became a father.
Ellis leaves behind a wife, Amy, and two sons, ages six and seven.
Meanwhile, a Louisville businessman is giving $50,000 to a reward fund set up to find the person or persons responsible for killing Officer Ellis.
Gus Goldsmith is also giving $10,000 to a fund to help the Ellis family.
Goldsmith says Ellis' death "hit home". Goldsmith's brother was murdered during a pawn shop robbery 38 years ago, and police never found the killer.