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Fireworks lit up the sky Saturday at the conclusion of Hope Fest. Organizers say this year’s fireworks show was the largest yet. Photo by Mike Hanson/Sycamore Photography.
Conn found competent to stand trial
By Tom Marshall
Senior Advocate writer

A federal judge has ruled Robbie Conn, pastor at Jeffersonville Assembly of God, competent to stand trial.

Conn appeared for a competency hearing and scheduling conference June 26 before U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell, chief judge for the eastern district of Kentucky in Lexington.

G. Scott Hayworth and James Lowry appeared as attorneys representing Conn, who is accused along with his wife, Tanya D. Conn, of defrauding the government of more than $100,000 over six years.

“Based on the report and stipulation of the parties, the court finds there is sufficient evidence to conclude the defendant is competent to stand trial,” Caldwell wrote in a court order following the hearing.
Caldwell scheduled a pretrial conference for 2 p.m. Sept. 19 and a jury trial to begin Oct. 15 at 9 a.m.

Conn was released from custody under previously imposed conditions, the order states.

Caldwell had previously ordered that Conn undergo a mental evaluation at the Federal Medical Center in Lexington beginning Feb. 15. That evaluation was to be completed by May 1 and a report was turned over to the court May 22.

The U.S. Attorneys Office and Conn’s attorneys both stipulated to the accuracy of the report, according to the judge’s order.

In late January, Hayworth filed a motion asking for a determination of mental competency and/or insanity at the time of the alleged offenses.
The motion claimed that Conn had “increasingly exhibited signs of potential mental illness, which may have created concern that he may be unable to understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him or assist in the defense.

Hayworth reported that Conn was having difficulty concentrating, suffered diminished mental stamina and feelings of depression.
A federal grand jury returned a seven-count indictment against the Conns in July 2017 alleging they defrauded the Social Security Disability Insurance and Medicare programs of more than $100,000 between May 2009 and August 2015.

Robbie Conn allegedly returned to work as pastor in May 2010 after having heart transplant surgery that February, but failed to notify the government that his wife was being paid his salary.

Tanya Conn allegedly committed fraud by accepting the checks under her husband’s name, according to the indictment.

The indictment also alleges that Robbie Conn falsified forms at the SSA office in Lexington, on or around Aug. 15, 2014, stating that he had not worked since 2008 under the penalties of perjury.

An indictment is a formal accusation of a crime, but does not establish guilt. The Conns have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kathryn Anderson and William Moynahan are prosecuting the case.

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