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RENDERED: AUGUST 10, 2012; 10:00 A.M.
NOT TO BE PUBLISHED
Commonwealth of Kentucky
Court of Appeals
ON DISCRETIONARY REVIEW FROM FAYETTE CIRCUIT COURT
HONORABLE JAMES D. ISHMAEL, JR., JUDGE
ACTION NO. 09-XX-00043
COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY
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BEFORE: LAMBERT, TAYLOR, AND THOMPSON, JUDGES.
TAYLOR, JUDGE: Will McGinnis brings this pro se appeal from a June 2, 2010,
Opinion and Order of the Fayette Circuit Court affirming a judgment of the Fayette
District Court upon a jury verdict finding McGinnis guilty of violating Kentucky
Revised Statutes (KRS) 243.020(3). Our Court granted discretionary review by
Order entered April 21, 2011. We affirm.
McGinnis owns a business named Club 9. McGinnis rented the Club
9 premises to various individuals by the night for private parties. In March 2009,
McGinnis rented the facility to Frankie Hall.1 Hall paid McGinnis $200 to rent
Club 9 from 11:00 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. per night. It was alleged that McGinnis
allowed Hall to repeatedly rent Club 9, who then charged patrons a cover charge at
the door, and then allowed those patrons to bring alcoholic beverages onto the
premises. Rather than Club 9 being used for private parties only, evidence was
introduced that the public could enter Club 9 during the rental period and bring
alcoholic beverages onto the premises if the cover charge was paid. Despite
several warnings by the Lexington Metro Police, McGinnis refused to limit
alcoholic beverage consumption at Club 9 and eventually was charged with two
counts of violating KRS 243.020(3), which prohibits the consumption of alcoholic
beverages at a public place of business.
The Fayette District Court conducted a jury trial on September 21,
2009, and McGinnis was found guilty on both counts of violating KRS 243.020(3).
The District Court fined McGinnis $500 and ordered him to pay court costs.
McGinnis pursued a direct appeal (09-XX-00043) to the Fayette Circuit Court. By
Opinion and Order entered June 2, 2010, the circuit court affirmed McGinnis’s
conviction for violating KRS 243.020(3). McGinnis, pro se, then filed a motion
for discretionary review with the Court of Appeals. The motion was granted, and
our review follows.
The record reflects that Will McGinnis entered into a “Private Party One Day Rental
Agreement” with Frankie Hall for each rental period.
McGinnis alleges that he did not violate KRS 243.020(3).2 In
particular, McGinnis argues that he was not present at Club 9 when the violations
occurred and that Club 9 was a private party space available for rent. He maintains
that only his tenant, Hall, was guilty of violating KRS 243.020(3). In effect,
McGinnis argues that he was entitled to a directed verdict of acquittal. A directed
verdict is proper if after viewing the evidence most favorable to the
Commonwealth, it would be clearly unreasonable for the jury to find guilt.
Kentucky Rules of Civli Procedure (CR) 50.01; Commonwealth v. Benham, 816
S.W.2d 186 (Ky. 1991).
McGinnis was found guilty of violating KRS 243.020(3), which
Except as provided in KRS 243.036, 243.260, and
243.290, a person, conducting a place of business
patronized by the public, who does not hold a license to
sell distilled spirits, wine, or malt beverages, shall not
permit any person to sell, barter, loan, give away, or
drink distilled spirits, wine, or malt beverages on the
premises of his place of business.
Under KRS 243.020(3), a person conducting a business patronized by the public
prohibits the sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages at the business in the
absence of a license to sell alcoholic beverages.
During trial, there was evidence that Club 9 was a business owned by
McGinnis; that members of the public could enter Club 9 after paying a cover
charge; and alcoholic beverages could be consumed by those attending Club 9.
McGinnis is proceeding pro se and has filed a pro se brief. We have endeavored to fully
ascertain the allegations of error presented therein.
Also, evidence was introduced that McGinnis had actual knowledge that alcohol
was being consumed by the public at his Club 9 business facility. Additionally, the
evidence established that McGinnis refused to limit the consumption of alcohol
and repeatedly rented Club 9 to Hall, and profited from renting Club 9 under these
circumstances. Also, at all times pertinent to the Club 9 rentals, McGinnis did not
hold a liquor license.
Considering the evidence is a light most favorable to the
Commonwealth, we hold the evidence was sufficient to support the jury’s verdict
finding McGinnis guilty upon two counts of violating KRS 243.020(3). The
evidence showed that McGinnis, at the very least, permitted the consumption of
alcoholic beverages at his business premises and that those premises were
accessible by the general public during the rental periods in question.
McGinnis also raises a plethora of additional allegations of error.
McGinnis, however, fails to cite to any legal authority and fails to articulate an
adequate legal basis supporting these allegations of error. In short, McGinnis fails
to advance any legal argument justifying reversal of his conviction for violating
In sum, we cannot say that the circuit court committed error by
affirming the district court’s judgment upon a jury verdict finding McGinnis guilty
upon two counts of violating KRS 243.020(3).
For the foregoing reasons, the Opinion and Order of the Fayette
Circuit Court is affirmed.
LAMBERT, JUDGE, CONCURS.
THOMPSON, JUDGE, CONCURS IN RESULT ONLY.
BRIEFS FOR APPELLANT:
BRIEF FOR APPELLEE:
Will McGinnis, Pro se
John R. Hayne
Special Assistant Attorney General