Local constables' case examined in podcast

Janie Slaven Commonwealth Journal, Commonwealth Journal, Somerset, Ky.
·3 min read

Apr. 15—A pair of true-crime podcasters are focusing their latest season on two Pulaski County constables facing federal charges.

The second season of "Criminal Conduct" debuts Friday on various online platforms. It centers on the case currently pending against District 5 Constable Michael "Wally" Wallace and District 4 Constable Gary Baldock, who were arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in March 2020 and charged with Conspiracy Against Civil Rights.

While Wallace was taken into custody peacefully by the FBI and released the same day, Baldock reportedly fired a gun at FBI agents when they attempted to take him into custody at his residence — resulting in Baldock and an agent being wounded. Baldock recovered and remains in custody at the Grayson County Detention Center.

Because of that incident, Baldock has been additionally charged with Attempted Murder of a Federal Agent and Discharge of a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence.

Both constables were later charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine as well. The defendants have entered not guilty pleas in regard to their respective charges.

The case has thus far spawned several civil lawsuits, one of which was dismissed last month. Now podcast enthusiasts around the country and the globe have the opportunity to learn about some of the players involved.

The series is a collaboration begun last year between veteran television producer Javier Leiva and law enforcement professional John Taylor, who met when they were both living in Raleigh, North Carolina, and were the only true-crime enthusiasts participating in a podcast group there. According to Leiva, each co-host also has their own episodic podcasts and decided to partner up for one that would more exhaustively examine one case over the course of a season.

"When you're a true-crime podcaster, you're casting a wide net all the time," Leiva explained of choosing subjects. "...I think our challenge is to tell both sides of the story."

While the podcasters have attempted to reach out to parties representing various sides to this case, Leiva said the season will be told primarily from the perspective of Tim Jones — a man initially charged in 2018 whose case was ultimately dismissed shortly after Wallace and Baldock were charged. Jones is one of the plaintiffs suing the constables civilly as well.

"We're going to follow his story arc from the time that he encounters Constable Wallace all the way to his case being expunged," Leiva said. "...He is our central character that we will revisit practically every episode."

The podcasters chose the constable case for Season 2 because Leiva was already working on it for his own show and though it could be expanded upon without much travel on their part — a valid consideration with the COVID-19 pandemic well underway.

Leiva said they plan to produce five episodes — which will drop bi-weekly on Fridays — but with the criminal trial currently scheduled for June, more episodes might be in the offing.

"We plan to go to Kentucky for that," Leiva said. "...We're playing it by ear. The first five episodes are planned but beyond that, we'll see how it goes."

"Criminal Conduct" can be accessed through criminalconduct.net as well as through social media sites like Facebook and Instagram.