The city attorney for Elkhorn City made an initial appearance in court this week in the theft case filed against him.

In Pike Circuit Court on Monday, Timothy Belcher, 54, of East Elkhorn Street, Elkhorn City, entered a not guilty plea to a theft charge filed against him earlier this month. Belcher is accused of stealing settlement money won in a wrongful death case approximately 15 years ago from a client in his private law practice.

Belcher entered his plea before Circuit Judge Alison Wells from Perry County who has been appointed as a special judge in the case. Wells ordered Belcher be held on a $20,000 surety bond, which was signed by his mother following Monday’s hearing.

In a previous interview, Pike Commonwealth’s Attorney Bill Slone told the News-Express that Belcher is accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in settlement money he won in the wrongful death lawsuit following the death of Samuel D. Johnson in a vehicle crash in 2001. Slone said Johnson’s 18-month-old daughter, Makenna Johnson, was also in the vehicle but survived. She was one of the beneficiaries to the $600,000 settlement Belcher won in the case, he said.

Slone said Makenna Johnson recently attempted to contact Belcher regarding the money from the judgement Belcher won for her family and found out that there was only $390 remaining in the escrow account. Belcher, Slone said, had withdrawn the money for his personal use.

In addition to Makenna Johnson, Cameron Blair and Dylan Campbell are also listed as victims in the indictment.

Belcher did not speak during Monday’s hearing, other than to say that he has no need to leave Kentucky in response to discussion about bond conditions. Attorney Paul Howard Jr., who represented Belcher at the hearing in place of Belcher’s attorney Steve Owens, declined to comment on Monday’s hearing.

Slone also made no comments following the hearing.

Belcher is due back in court Nov. 12 for a pretrial hearing in the case. He remains free on bond.

Belcher was not present for last week’s meeting of the Elkhorn City Council. The council did not discuss the indictment filed against Belcher, nor was discussion held about any possible replacement for Belcher. Belcher is still listed as being an “active” member of the Kentucky Bar Association, according to the organization’s website.

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