We've been tracking the search for a Lexington fugitive for nearly two months. John Buckley walked out of the courthouse just moments before a jury convicted him of rape. Monday a judge told his family who bonded him out of jail to pay up.
The hearing was an opportunity for John Buckley's uncle, Kelly Buckley, to convince the court not to make him forfeit the money and property he put up as bond, but in the end the uncle didn't put up much of a fight.
When he appeared before the judge, Kelly Buckley insisted that he had cooperated with authorities to try to contact his nephew but that he had been unsuccessful so far. He also noted that he felt the $150,000 cash bond had been set unusually high in the first place.
The judge quickly dismissed the second argument, pointing out that the seriousness of the rape charge John Buckley IV faced made the bond reasonable.
Kelly Buckley was able to raise $32,000 in cash, but he had to put up twice the remainder in property. Court documents show Buckley listed the site of his financial services firm in Nicholasville in order to free his nephew.
Prosecutors were prepared to call witnesses from the U.S. Marshall's Office, the Fayette County Sheriff's Office, and the Lexington Police Department to refute the claim that Kelly Buckley was cooperating with authorities, but in the end it didn't seem to matter. The judge ordered the bond forfeited before anyone had to testify.
After the hearing prosecutors said what the court would have heard was the mounting cost of the search for John Buckley since he jumped bail. Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Larson says so far taxpayers have spent about $60,000 on the manhunt with no end in sight.
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