Louisville chef indicted on drug trafficking charge - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville chef indicted on drug trafficking charge

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Chef Stephen "Dean" Corbett (Source: Louisville Metro Corrections) Chef Stephen "Dean" Corbett (Source: Louisville Metro Corrections)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A well-known Louisville chef is indicted for drug trafficking.

Dean Corbett's case is going back in front of a judge. The owner of Corbett's, Equus, and Jack's Lounge was charged with drug trafficking five months ago.

Even though his attorney reached a plea deal, a grand jury has indicted Corbett on the same charge. The felony dates back to March, when police arrested Corbett for allegedly dealing drugs out of his Mercedes.

Tom Clay, Corbett's attorney, says, "Dean has not taken this indictment news well because he thought that the case was over."

But the case is still moving through the courts.

We spoke to the chef who would not go on camera, but says he was lending medication to a friend with cancer who had a prescription for the same drug.

Clay explains that after Corbett was charged, he met with Commonwealth's Attorney David Stengel and worked out a resolution on the felony charges. The plea agreement reduces the charges to a misdemeanor of having a prescription in the wrong container.
But the county attorney did not carry through with the plea deal in district court.

Clay says, "We worked out an agreement with the prosecutor in the Commonwealth's attorney but the county attorney's office didn't feel comfortable carrying out the plea agreement that had been reached between me and David Stengel."

The county attorney's office would not comment on this ongoing case.

Clay says the indictment was part of the legal process. He says, "Through a series of steps which had not always been sure and correct, we have wound up in the position we are now where the grand jury considered the case yesterday and returned an indictment."

Clay says the plea deal is still going to be carried out when it goes to circuit court.

Chef Corbett says he paid a big price for what he did, and is ready to get back to business.

According to Clay, the grand jury indictment is for the same allegations that led Corbett to be charged on March 8, 2012.  Also, according to Clay, he previously reached a plea agreement on behalf of Corbett with Commonwealth's Attorney David Stengel.  Clay says that the plea agreement was never withdrawn, and it will be carried out by Corbett and the office of the Commonwealth Attorney, "on precisely the same terms as provided in the original agreement."  According to Clay, Corbett's case was referred to the grand jury for indictment in order for the charges to be assigned to a circuit court division where Mr. Stengel's office has jurisdiction to complete the plea agreement. 

Clay adds, "Mr. Stengel's office has no jurisdiction to consummate a plea agreement in district court.  That jurisdiction is exclusively the Jefferson County Attorney, who was not a party to the plea agreement."

Corbett is supposed to be arraigned Monday, but his attorney hopes to finalize the plea deal before then. If a judge accepts it, Corbett would be in a diversion program and the charge dismissed.

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