RUSSELL The lead detective in the death of a 42-year-old Russell woman on Etna Street in late September has not ruled out her husband as a suspect.

Detective Phillip Kearns, of the Russell Police Department, said while no charges have been filed against 43-year-old Matthew Conley, he has not been cleared as a suspect in the death of Adare (Meadows) Conley.

Homicide has not been ruled out as a cause of death, either, according to Kearns.

“We’re still waiting on the medical examiner’s report. I was hoping to get it back this week, but sometimes these things take longer than you’d like,” Kearns said. “I don’t want to speculate on the cause of death until the report comes back.”

At the time of his wife’s Sept. 25 death, Conley was on shock probation in Greenup County after being convicted earlier this year of retaliating against a participant in a legal process and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon.

Longtime readers may remember, Conley is the father of Mattie Conley, who was tragically killed in December 2015 when she was chased by a car while riding on a four-wheeler. The two culprits in her death, Kelley Dummitt and James Ratliff, were initially charged with manslaughter but pleaded down to less severe charges and received diversion agreements — effectively keeping them out of jail.

Dummitt ended up serving some prison time after violating the terms of her agreement, while Ratliff has been able to keep his nose clean.

Throughout the case surrounding his daughter’s death, Matthew Conley had been outspoken about the light sentences Ratliff and Dummitt received.

In 2018, the elder Conley was charged with issuing threats against Greenup County District Court Judge Brian McCloud, who handled the homicide case in the lower court prior to Ratliff and Dummitt being indicted.

Incident to his arrest, Conley — who was on a diversion agreement himself — was found to have a gun, according to state police.

The recent investigation into his wife’s death has landed Conley again in jail, this time for violating the terms of probation.

In a violation of supervision report filed Oct. 7, Conley admitted to using heroin when he was interviewed by Kearns on Oct. 1 at an address in Flatwoods. Court records show Conley had track marks and admitted to owning drug paraphernalia found at the Etna Street address on Sept. 25.

Conley was taken into custody Oct. 15 by probation and parole for the violation.

A deputy circuit clerk confirmed he is due back in court Nov. 10 for a probation revocation hearing. Judge Johnny Ray Harris of Floyd County will preside over the hearing, the clerk confirmed.

(606) 326-2653 |

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