Danville—A former Baptist preacher charged with three counts of murder in a 2013 shooting at a pawn shop in Danville, has been found competent to stand trial.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reported July 27 that Kenneth Allen Keith, former pastor of Main Street Baptist Church in Burnside, will stand trial starting with a status hearing Sept. 1.
Keith, who was evaluated at the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Hospital in La Grange, stands accused of fatally shooting pawn shop owners Michael Hockensmith, 35, and his wife, Angela Hockensmith, 38, on Sept. 20, 2013. The shooting took place in front of their son, then 9, and their 14-month-old daughter. Afterward the boy called police.
Also killed was Daniel Smith, 60, of Richmond, a customer known to frequent the business buying gold. He reportedly had a briefcase containing about $40,000 that was missing from the crime scene.
Keith had no criminal history at the time of his arrest but did have a license to carry a concealed weapon. He is also charged with robbery and burglary and could face the death penalty if convicted of murder.
Keith, who in addition to his ministerial duties owned a gold shop in Somerset, was reportedly doing business with ABC Gold, Games and More pawn shop in Burnside, where the triple homicide occurred.
Keith formerly owned the pawn shop, selling it months earlier to Michael Hockensmith, who had worked for him two years as the store manager, and his wife, the co-owner.
He reportedly attended the couple’s funeral and expressed sympathy for the family on Facebook prior to his arrest two weeks after the crime.
Mike Hockensmith was a graduate of Clear Creek Baptist Bible College and at the time of his death was serving as youth minister at Mitchellsburg Baptist Church in Danville. Before that he was youth minister at Woodlawn Baptist Church in Lebanon. Both churches are affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
Angela Hockensmith was a homeschool mother active in her husband’s ministry at Mitchellsburg Baptist Church. At the time her death she served as minister of music. (BNG)