Court Denies Prisoner Visitation Rights
Dec. 16, 1988
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ Kentucky's Supreme Court has thrown out a judge's ruling that required a woman to allow her two children to visit their father, who is in prison for shooting her.
The court said Jefferson Circuit Judge John Potter was wrong when he granted limited visitation rights to Gary Owen Gooch, who was sentenced to 20 years for ambushing his wife, Edith, outside the bank where she worked on Sept. 25, 1985.
Potter had ruled that a parent is entitled to visitation even if it is harmful to the child, but the high court said that ruling was ''a misstatement of the law.''
Edith Vice, who now uses her maiden name, said she was thrilled by the unanimous decision Thursday.
''It's the end of a nightmare that I've had since September 1985,'' she said. ''To think we don't have this cloud hanging over us any more - the euphoria is incredible.''
Gooch, 37, is being held at the Marion Adjustment Center in St. Mary. His attorney, Julie Gregory, said she was considering her client's options but would not discuss them.
''I feel an injustice has been done,'' she said.
Ms. Vice has not had to allow Alex, 6, and Amanda, 5, to see their father since Potter's ruling.