Matt Conley

Matt Conley is pictured in this Daily Independent file photo.

GREENUP A Flatwoods man who has doggedly followed the legal proceedings for two people accused in the death of his daughter was in court Friday facing felony charges of his own.

Matthew Conley appeared in Greenup District Court for a preliminary hearing on a charge of intimidating a participant in the legal process.

However, special judge William Roberts rescheduled the hearing for Sept. 25 because Conley’s attorney was not in court.

Roberts was appointed to hear the case after Greenup District Judge Brian McCloud recused himself.

McCloud and his family have been the target of social media postings allegedly made by Conley’s family and supporters.

Conley is the father of Mattellen “Mattie” Conley, who died in September 2015 in an incident involving a car chasing the all-terrain vehicle on which she was a passenger.

James Wyatt Ratliff, the other rider on the ATV, and Kelly Dummitt, the driver of the car chasing it, were charged in her death.

McCloud presided for a short time over the two cases until they were transferred to circuit court and a special prosecutor took over.

Both defendants made plea bargains to avoid trial on manslaughter charges.

Dummitt pleaded guilty to reckless homicide and evidence tampering. Ratliff pleaded guilty to evidence tampering.

Both were sentenced to prison terms but were spared from serving them in exchange for complying with strict conditions of their plea agreements.

Ratliff appears to be doing so but Dummitt was sentenced to serve out her term last week after being arrested for violating her agreement.

That has not satisfied Matthew Conley and his supporters, some of whom have made accusations on social media of judicial wrongdoing although they have offered no evidence to support those contentions.

Some postings have targeted McCloud and his family.

Conley remains free on $5,000 bond and is required to refrain from using drugs, alcohol and social media and is prohibited from possessing firearms.

Conley declined comment and his attorney did not immediately return a call.

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Mike James is The Independent's education reporter. He has covered news in Northeast Kentucky since 1996.