Corbin lawyer Kyle David Kersey, 56, was pronounced dead at Baptist Regional Medical Center at 8:05 a.m. Friday.
The lawyer had been disbarred on Thursday. Kersey died from a single gunshot injury, said Whitley Coroner Andy Croley. According to Kentucky State Police Public Affairs Officer Trooper First Class Don Trosper, the wound was in the torso.
Croley said, “The cause and manner of the death are still under investigation.”
An autopsy is scheduled for today (Saturday).
Just before 7 a.m., the Laurel County dispatch center notified the KSP of a single-vehicle traffic incident on KY 770 near the bridge that crosses the Laurel River. Its front end was pointed toward the Keavy area.
When police arrived, they found Kersey in the black pickup truck along the side of the road.
Croley and KSP lead Detective Donald Wilson, Dave Lassiter, and Mark Allen continue the investigation along with the Laurel County Sheriff, London Police and the Laurel Major Crimes Task Force.
Kersey was disbarred, the result of a recommendation to the Kentucky supreme court by the Kentucky Bar Association.
The bar association asked that he be permanently removed from the practice of law in Kentucky.
Five bar discipline charges were listed in the order.
The first states that Brandon Mills had retained Kersey after an automobile accident.
Kersey had settled with Mills’ insurer to the policy limit of $25,000, and Mills’ no-fault insurer for the unpaid Personal Injury Protection (PIP) balance of $4,034.80.
Mills signed the settlement statement in April 2004 showing that Mills was to get $18,750, the remainder after attorney’s fees. Mills received no money from Kersey.
In March 2006, Apren H. Poore hired Kersey to represent him after a traffic accident.
Kersey got $25,000 from the liability insurance policy and $10,000 PIP funds.
Kersey reportedly told Poore that there would be liens against outstanding medical bills.
Before the final lien settlements were made, Kersey gave Poore $5,250.
However, Kersey claimed he had advanced $3,050 to Poore and $4,500 to Poore’s mother.
Kersey’s escrow bank records were subpoenaed and the records showed that in October 2007, the account was overdrawn by $107.40.
Kersey’s records indicated that he had deposited the liability and PIP funds into the account in May 2006.
Shawna Ellis was involved in the same accident as Poore.
Kersey got $25,000 in liability and $10,000 in PIP payments for Ellis.
He also warned Ellis that there would be medical liens.
He gave Ellis $4,250 from the insurance proceeds and was said to have deposited the remainder of the proceeds in the escrow account — the same one that was overdrawn by $107.40.
Wanda Godby hired Kersey to represent her on federal criminal charges.
She pledged her pickup truck worth $10,000 as collateral for her legal fee of $5,000.
In February 2009, he told Godby that she should transfer the ownership of the truck to Kersey for insurance purposes because it was being housed on his property.
Godby transferred the truck to Kersey who soon afterward filed a motion to withdraw as her lawyer in the criminal matter.
Kersey sold the truck but did not notify Godby.
In a March 2009 hearing in federal court, Godby learned the truck had been sold.
He had sold the truck, valued at $10,000 for $2,200.
Kersey admitted that his agreement with Godby would have allowed her to pay his legal fees and get the truck back.
He withdrew and a federal public defender was appointed.
Finally, the bar association began getting overdraft notices from Cumberland Valley National Bank, Kersey’s bank, on Dec. 30, 2008 regarding his escrow account.
In January, April and June, the bar requested copies of documents indicating he had corrected the overdrafts and asked for a written explanation of why the overdrafts occurred.
He failed to respond to the notices.
The bar got more overdraft notifications. Some 19 checks on Kersey’s accounts were returned between December 2008 and October 2009, totaling $10,67.66, for insufficient funds.
The court ordered that Kersey pay $1,824.82 to pay for the costs of the disciplinary proceedings, make restitution to all clients and within 10 days cancel any advertising he used and notify all clients in writing that he could no longer represent them.
Kersey’s law office caught fire at about 11 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009.
The office was then at 704 South Main in Corbin, about 400 feet from the Corbin firehouse.
By midnight, the first floor had fallen into the law office’s basement.
A family of four was staying in the two-bedroom apartment on the second story of the law office.
The family was able to exit the home without injury.
Following the fire, Kersey moved his office to 101 West Seventh Street, at the intersection with South Main Street.
He had been the Whitley County attorney in the 1990s, representing the fiscal court and prosecuting district court cases before returning to private practice.