Richie Kemp

Graves County Commonwealth’s Attorney

Seeking Justice.
Serving Graves County.

Graves County Commonwealth’s Attorney's office team

We are your Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and we want you to have confidence in our efforts to ensure the safety and security of this community. We want you to know who we are:
We believe…
In a prosecutor’s obligation to seek only truth and justice.
We believe…
In firm, fair and transparent prosecution of criminal offenders.
We believe…
In a victim’s right to be heard and compassionately supported.
We believe…
In personal accountability, responsibility and transparency.
We believe…
In showing respect and dignity to all.
We believe…
In hard work, dedication and diligence.

Your Commonwealth’s Attorney

Richie Kemp

Graves County Commonwealth’s Attorney – 52nd Judicial Circuit


Kemp was born and raised in Mayfield, Graves County, Kentucky. He attended Symsonia Elementary and graduated from Graves County High School in 1997. Kemp is a proud Murray State Racer, having graduated in 2001, and proud Southern Illinois University Saluki, having graduated from SIU School of Law in 2005. In law school, Kemp was published in the Journal of Legal Medicine (March 2004, Vol. 25, No. 1). He also had the great honor of clerking for Hon. John T. Daughaday, Judge, Graves Circuit Court, retired, in the Summer of 2004.


In January 2007, Kemp began his career as a prosecutor. Kemp was hired to serve as a part-time Asst. Commonwealth’s Attorney in Graves County. Prosecutors in the Commonwealth’s Attorneys Office are responsible for prosecuting felonies committed in Graves County. From 2007 through 2017, Kemp was the sole prosecutor in many jury trials, including multiple drug trafficking trials, multiple murder trials, and the vast majority of all felony child sex abuse trials. Kemp had great success. Also, during this span, Kemp, with help from Lori Brown, Lotus Children’s Advocacy and Sexual Assault Center, re-assembled and led the Multi-Disciplinary Team (“MDT”) in Graves County. The MDT consists of prosecutors, law enforcement, socials workers, victims’ advocates, and others, and it serves many important functions for our community, most importantly reviewing and evaluating the investigation and prosecution of all child sexual abuse allegations in Graves County.

Kemp also served Graves County as an Asst. County Attorney for Hon. John Cunningham, County Attorney, from 2009 through 2018. Kemp’s role in the County Attorney’s Office was juvenile prosecutor. In this capacity, Kemp was the prosecutor in cases involving dependent, neglected, or abused children. Kemp also prosecuted juveniles that committed crimes in Graves County.

In 2020, Kemp was honored and humbled to be recognized as a “Legendary Partner” by the Children’s Advocacy Center of Kentucky (“CAC”).  Each year, Kentucky’s 15 CACs recognize individuals that have demonstrated commitment to serving children impacted by abuse. 

Civil Practice

Kemp’s legal career began under the mentorship of Hon. Russ Wilkey, an excellent attorney in Owensboro, KY, November 2005.  In December 2006, Kemp returned home to Graves County and in only 5 years became a partner at Hargrove, Foster & Kemp. In May 2012, Kemp established the Law Office of Richie Kemp and practiced solo until November 2013, when Kemp partnered with attorney, Jesse Wright, to create the law firm of Kemp & Wright, PLLC.  In January 2019, as Kemp began his service as Graves County Commonwealth’s Attorney, Kemp also established the law firm of Kemp Law Group and, along with attorney, John J. Beasley, II, provided professional, personal, and excellent legal representation to a many clients across a variety of legal areas. However, July 1, 2022, Kemp was named a full-time Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, and no longer practices Civil Law.

Community Service

Kemp proudly serves as the President of the Graves County Bar Association. He has held this position since March 2016. Kemp is also a current member of the Executive Committee for the Graves County Democratic Party, a position he has held since 2013. Since returning to Graves County in 2007, in addition to proudly serving as a mentor in Graves County’s mentorship program, from 2010 through 2014, Kemp has served on the Board of Directors for the following local organizations:

  • Mayfield-Graves County Chamber of Commerce (2016 – 2019)
  • 12th Man Legacy, Inc., Booster Club for Graves Co. High School Football (2014 – 2016)
  • Lighthouse – A Healing Place, Woman’s Shelter (2013 – 2015)
  • Mayfield-Graves County Habitat for Humanity (2007 – 2013)
  • Mayfield-Graves County Need Line/Food Pantry (2007-2011)


Richie is happily (& luckily) married to Jenn Kemp.  Jenn is a Registered Nurse, the Graves County Representative for Moses Basket, and the creator of Own Your Esteem, a personal blog. Richie & Jenn consider their first, favorite, and most important job to be parenting their 3 amazing children: 2 daughters and 1 son. Richie’s favorite way to spend time is coaching and competing alongside his kiddos in basketball and other sports. Richie & Jenn are also the proud dog parents of Arya, their standard poodle that spends almost as much time at the office as Richie, and Aspen, their miniature poodle.

Your Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorneys

John J. Beasley, II

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney – Head of the Drug Enforcement Unit

John J. Beasley II (or J.J. as we call him) is a native Mayfieldian.   After graduating from Mayfield High School in 2008, J.J. attended college at Transylvania University in Lexington, where he attained his B.A. in Political Science.  Following college, J.J. attended the University of Kentucky College of Law. 

After graduating from U.K., J.J. started working as a Staff Attorney for Chief Circuit Judge Janet J. Crocker in the 49th Judicial Circuit (Simpson and Allen Counties).  J.J. passed the bar in February of 2017, after which he took a position with the Department of Public Advocacy in their Hopkinsville trial office.  During his time in Hopkinsville, he argued ardently on behalf of his clients, and learned how to effectively advocate in Kentucky’s criminal courts. 

In January of 2019, he began working in the Graves County Commonwealth Attorney’s office as Assistant Commonwealth Attorney.  In August of 2020, he was named as the head of the Graves County Commonwealth Attorney’s Drug Enforcement Unit.


Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney – Head of Vulnerable Victim’s Unit

Grace E. Stewart is a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, summa cum laude, and received her juris doctor degree from University of Kentucky College of Law in 2011. While at UK Law School, she was a member of Trial Advocacy Board, Moot Court, and an Articles Editor for the Kentucky Law Journal. Her note, The Disregarding of the Rehabilitative Spirit of Juvenile Codes, was published in the KLJ. She was admitted to practice in the Commonwealth in 2011 and has committed herself to public service before, during, and after law school. After law school, she served as law clerk for McCracken Circuit Judge Tim Kaltenbach. She then prosecuted domestic violence and other criminal cases as an Assistant McCracken County Attorney. As a legal advocate at Lotus Children’s Advocacy and Sexual Violence Resource Center, Grace served child and adult victims of sexual violence in the eight counties of the Jackson Purchase region. She also represented children and adults in court for protective orders, prepared children to participate and testify in court, and assisted victims in the legal process.

In September 2022, Grace joined the Graves Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. She is a member of the Graves Multidisciplinary Team where the focus is safety, healing and justice for children and families and promotes the protection of victims as the Head of the office’s Vulnerable Victim’s Unit.



Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney – Member of the Drug Enforcement Unit

Erin graduated from Western Kentucky University with a double major in Philosophy and Spanish. She then completed her Juris Doctorate at Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law in 2016 and passed the Ohio Bar in 2016 and the Kentucky Bar in 2017.

After graduating, Erin took a position with the Department of Public Advocacy in their Hopkinsville trial office.  During her time in the Hopkinsville office, Erin represented her clients with compassion and professionalism, and gained great experience in effectively advocating criminal cases in Kentucky’s District and Circuit Courts. Erin transferred to the Paducah office in August of 2021 where she continued her important representation.

In December of 2022, she began her position with the Graves County Commonwealth Attorney’s office as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney. She is a member of the Graves County Drug Court Team and prosecutes drug, financial and other interpersonal felony crimes.

Your Commonwealth’s Attorney's office Detective

The Graves County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office has a dedicated in-house detective who serves this community by partnering with prosecutors to ensure our cases are ready to go to jury trial. Detective Heatherly is a seasoned, experienced law enforcement officer whose keen insights are vital to every case our office prosecutes.


Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office Detective

Det. Heatherly joined the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office in January of 2021, continuing a remarkable, lifelong career dedicated to law enforcement.  Det. Heatherly embodies our office wide mission of pursuing truth and justice for victims of crime, as well as, those who stand accused of criminal conduct.  Det. Heatherly brings to our team a wealth of knowledge, experience and instinct that is critical to our ability to serve and protect the community of Graves County.

Beginning in 1980, Det. Heatherly joined the Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina Police Department working diligently in the Patrol Division.  He then worked for several years with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office advancing through the ranks to be named Sergeant of the Violent Crimes Unit.  Thereafter, his career with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division provided extensive experience in numerous areas of law enforcement including General Investigations, the Governor’s Protection Detail, Special Agent for Auto Theft Unit Investigations, Operation Section Chief/Lieutenant with the Sea Hawk Port Security Task Force.  He also served as Supervisory Special Agent (Lieutenant) assigned to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.  Upon relocation to Graves County, Det. Heatherly worked for the Graves County Sheriff’s office from 2012 to 2020.  It was in this role that Det. Heatherly served as Court Security Supervisor ensuring the safety of every defendant, victim, citizen spectator, prosecutor, defense attorney and judicial court staff personnel who entered a Graves County Courtroom.

In addition to his decades of hands on experience in the field of law enforcement, Det. Heatherly has attended countless specialized training programs including, but not limited to: Managing Criminal Investigations, Profiling Sexual Homicide and Rape, Investigation of Sex Crimes, Preparation and Prosecution of Drug Cases and Domestic Conflict – Causes and Effects.  He is also the recipient of the 1991 Strom Thurmond Excellence in Law Enforcement Award, as well, as multiple Certificates of Appreciation from the U.S. Department of Justice/FBI. 

Det. Heatherly is happily married to his better half, Mrs. Debbie Heatherly.  In his spare time, he enjoys bow hunting and bass fishing.

Your Victim’s Advocate

The Graves County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office has an extraordinary Victim’s Advocate who stands ready to support crime victims by ensuring their treatment is in accordance with the Crime Victim’s Bill of Rights. Denise is a compassionate advocate. She is a dedicated professional working to ensure victim’s voices are heard and assist victims, and their families, in every way as they navigate the Criminal Justice system.

Lisa Adams

Victim’s Advocate

Adams is a graduate of Murray State University where she earned a degree in Therapeutic Recreation/Youth Agency Administration. Before serving Graves County as a Victim’s Advocate, she diligently served Carlisle County School District as the Family Resource and Youth Service Center’s Coordinator for 13 years. Lisa’s career dedicated to families and children best prepared her for her role as Victim’s Advocate. Although she dutifully serves victims in all criminal cases, Lisa takes a special interest in the cases involving vulnerable victims.

As Victim’s Advocate, Adams guides each victim through the Criminal Justice System ensuring they have the necessary resources and information at their fingertips. She compassionately ensures victim’s voices are heard at every step of the proceedings and makes certain victims are not left to navigate their trial alone. Adams is an avid learner and continuously looks for educational opportunities to further develop her skills as an advocate.

Most importantly, she has a passion for serving others.

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Denise Brazzell

Victim’s Advocate

Brazzell is passionate about helping people.  She believes it is imperative that victims have a voice and as a victim advocate it is Brazzell’s job to help make sure their voice is heard.

With a master’s degree in communication from Murray State University, she has spent her career advocating for those who struggle to be heard.  After Graduating from Mayfield High School, Brazzell began her career as a legal secretary, then after college she became the Director of the Graves County High School Youth Services Center. While Director of the GCHS Youth Services Center, the Center was named the best in the state for services to at-risk youth.  In 2008 she became the Director of Student Services at the University of Kentucky College of Engineering, Paducah Campus. In 2015 she was named the University of Kentucky’s Academic Advisor of the Year and was named a finalist for the National Academic Advisor Council Award. In February of 2020 she was hired as a Victim Advocate for Mr. Kemp and plans to continue to strive for excellence as a victim advocate. 

Denise and her husband, Jim, have a daughter and son-in-law who live in Memphis, TN and an adorable grandson, Mack. She is a life-long resident of Mayfield and Graves County and is proud to serve the community she calls home. 




Legal Assistant

Tess Williamson is a Graves County native who joined the office in September 2022. After graduating from Graves County High School, Tess attended WKCTC where she obtained her Associate’s Degree. With a background in culinary arts, and management and supervision, Tess manages the office and provides invaluable legal assistance with trial preparation on felony cases. She utilizes her communication skills to connect well with everyone- from those in the office to those in the court system, and most importantly with the community and victims. She is driven by passion for the law and desire to contribute to the legal field and community and she is committed to continuously expand knowledge and skills to provide support for our team in facilitating justice.



Legal Assistant

Grace Copeland is a native of Graves County, Kentucky. She graduated from Graves County High School in 2015 and is proud of her local heritage. Grace was pursuing education in the law enforcement field when she began her work with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office in 2020. Grace prides herself on being a part of the team. Grace handles all the discovery—the information that must be exchanged between prosecutors and defense attorneys, as well as tracking all law enforcement compliance with evidence rules; evidence information; and the organization of the office. She works closely with the Drug Enforcement Unit in trial preparation and is an integral part of the work at the Graves County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

She is, in fact, married to local law enforcement–her husband, Justin Copeland, is an officer with the Mayfield Police Department. Grace and Justin have an adorable daughter, Ada, who is the delight of the office! Grace is the smiling face you see when you enter the office and the lovely voice that answers our relentless phone!

commonwealth's attorney's office dog


Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office Dog

Arya is at the office almost daily.  Despite no formal training as a comfort/service dog, Arya is often in the room when we meet with victims and has comforted and raised the spirits of many victims of all ages over the years.