Attorney: Kentucky State Police overreached in charge of threatening Governor Andy Beshear

A lawyer for the attorney charged with threatening Gov. Andy Beshear said his client didn’t commit a crime and will contest the charge.

Kentucky State Police charged attorney Gregory James Troutman with terroristic threatening — a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail — for comments that implied he wanted to see the governor killed.

But his lawyer, Steve Romines, said Thursday that the remarks didn’t meet the elements of terroristic threatening.

“He didn’t say he was going to kill him,” Romines said.

“Just because times are scary we cannot overreact. And trying to restrict somebody’s free speech rights … is an overreaction when what they say doesn’t meet the elements of a crime.”

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (Photo: Matt Stone/Courier Journal)

Troutman, 53, was arrested April 21 and charged in connection with two statements posted on Facebook.

In the first, he said somebody should ask Beshear his thoughts on William Goebel, Kentucky’s 34th governor who was assassinated the day before he was sworn in and died four days later.

In the second comment, Troutman wrote that that instead of police shooting pictures of the license plates of people attending a rally in Frankfort, “with any luck the Gov with be the one at whom the shooting will be directed.”

State law says a defendant is guilty of third-degree terroristic threatening — the charge against Troutman — if he “threatens to commit any crime likely to result in death or serious physical injury to another person.”

Troutman has been released on a $5,000 cash bond to home incarceration and ordered to stay off the Internet and have no contact with Beshear.

The Kentucky Supreme Court suspended Troutman from practicing law for two years in 2007 by after he fired an arrow through his neighbor’s garage door and into a refrigerator.

He pleaded guilty to wanton endangerment, while maintaining his innocence, and was placed in a diversion program. He claimed he had overdosed on an allergy medication at the time.

During his suspension, he was accused of practicing law while his license was restricted, and he agreed to an additional 30-day suspension.

In 2013, he was arrested after Louisville Metro Police say he was driving erratically, nearly hitting other vehicles, and that he refused to pull over until a cruiser blocked him in.

He was charged with fleeing and evading police, wanton endangerment and reckless driving.

He eventually pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to 30 days in jail, which was conditionally discharged.

*story by The Courier-Journal