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Woman in attempted muder case seeks erasement of conviction

A woman convicted in connection with the 2004 attempted murder of an Ermine woman is asking the Letcher Circuit Court to expunge her record.

Kyla Arlene Bellis, now known as Kylynn Bellis, pleaded guilty in December 2006 to criminal facilitation to attempted murder, criminal facilitation to first-degree robbery, and criminal facilitation to first-degree burglary.

In 2004, she was the girlfriend of Christopher Haynes, then 24, who was killed by his grandmother during commission of the crime. The grandmother, the late Geraldine “Gerri” Haynes, was the intended victim.

If successful, there would be no record of Bellis ever having committed the crime.

Bellis, 36, is a Canadian citizen and a resident of Clarksville, Tenn., but was living at Jenkins at the time of her arrest. She admitted in 2006 that she and Christopher Haynes were in his grandmother’s home on December 30, 2004, and Christopher Haynes attempted to kill his grandmother by hitting her in the head with a hammer. Gerri Haynes was seriously injured after being struck twice in the head, but pulled a gun from under her pillow and shot her grandson, killing him.

Letcher County Commonwealth’s Attorney Edison Banks has filed a response asking for up to 120 days to investigate and contact crime victims.

Banks says in his response that notice of a hearing on the unsigned motion was not given to him in a timely manner. He said that was of particular concern because Letcher Circuit Judge James W. Craft II was Bellis’s defense attorney. Banks asked that Judge Craft disqualify himself.

“In addition, the defendant’s Application to Vacate and Expunge is totally defective as it is not verified or even executed by anyone, and is filed under a totally different name than was used by the defendant at the time of her arrest and conviction,” the response says.

Judge Eddy Coleman, Chief Regional Judge in the Mountain Region of Judicial Circuits, granted the request to replace Craft with a special judge in the case.

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