Church musicians plead not guilty

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By Ben Carlson

The two First Baptist Church keyboard players indicted last month on multiple felony charges for allegedly creating a fake commercial drivers license pleaded not guilty Friday morning during their arraignment in Franklin County Circuit Court, according to court documents.

Lance Roe, 28, apparently wanted the license to drive a bus for First Baptist Church, where he serves as an organist. Police say the church’s pianist, Michael Sivils, 45, assisted Roe in obtaining the license by altering a state computer system database to make it appear that Roe had passed a test to obtain the license.

Both men waived formal reading of the charges against them.

They were indicted Feb. 12. They were both issued a summons the next day, according to Sgt. Mike Carnahan of the Kentucky State Police Electronic Crime Section.

Roe is charged with complicity to commit unlawful access to a computer, a Class C felony, and second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, a Class D felony.

Sivils is charged with first-degree unlawful access to a computer, a Class C felony, second-degree forgery and tampering with physical evidence, both Class D felonies.

A Class C felony carries a five- to 10-year prison sentence. A Class D felony carries a one- to five-year sentence.

Sivils’ tampering charge stems from him trying to alter the state’s computer database “once news of an investigation into the incident was imminent,” according to state police news release.

Roe is a funeral director and embalmer at Gash Memorial Chapel in Lawrenceburg. He is also a former part-time deputy with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department and owned and operated a business installing communications equipment in police vehicles.

Sivils was a contractor with the Commonwealth Office of Technology at the time of his arrest.

Roe and Sivils are scheduled to appear at a pretrial conference March 20 in Franklin County Circuit Court. A trial for both men is scheduled to begin June 24.

E-mail Ben Carlson at bcarlson@theandersonnews.com.