The defense has begun calling witnesses in the trial of Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton and two other law enforcement officers. The men stand accused of beating a suspect in handcuffs and lying about it to the FBI.
Before calling their first witness, defense attorneys for Sheriff Eaton, Deputy Aaron Bennett, and Drug Task Force Detective Eric Guffey, asked for acquittals or at least the dismissal of some charges, but the motions were rejected by U.S. District Judge Joseph McKinley.
The defense brought to the witness stand Ron Lafferty, a detective with the Barren-Edmonson Drug Task Force. Lafferty said when he arrived on the arrest scene, suspect Billy Stinnett was already in handcuffs and he saw no one hit Stinnett. He wrote a report and stressed that Sheriff Eaton never influenced what he put in the report, as another officer testified earlier in the trial.
The state fire marshal says a fire that killed three people at a mobile home in Grayson County started accidentally near a light fixture.
Fire marshal spokeswoman Ricki Gardenhire says investigators determined that Sunday's blaze ignited in the ceiling, and there was no sign of foul play.
Killed in the fire were Eddie Clouse; his son, Cole Clouse, who would have turned 2 next month; and a family friend, Kalvin King. The fire started just before 11 p.m. CDT near Leitchfield.
Deputy Kentucky Fire Marshal Chris Crawford says the fire had already flashed over or was consuming the home from floor to ceiling when firefighters arrived, but the Leitchfield Fire Department managed to bring the fire under control quickly.
Prosecutors in the trial of Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton and two other southern Kentucky law enforcement agents have been calling FBI agents to the stand Tuesday.
Eaton, Barren County Sheriff's Deputy Aaron Bennett, and Barren-Edmonson County Drug Task Force Detective Eric Guffey are accused of beating drug suspect Billy Stinnett after he was taken into custody, and then lying about it to federal investigators.
The three law enforcement agents took Stinnett into custody after he led officers on a high-speed, two-county chase on Feb. 24, 2010. Stinnett has admitted he was high on meth at the time of the incident, and a mobile meth lab was found in the back of the vehicle he crashed into a Glasgow church.
FBI special agent Michael Schaffer told the court he interviewed Detective Eric Guffey twice in one day following the alleged beating of Stinnett. Schaffer says Guffey told two different stories about whether Stinnett was on the ground or standing when he was struck by officers.
WKU President Gary Ransdell says there will be no job losses next year related to the school’s upcoming budget cut. Dr. Ransdell had been warning that personnel reductions were likely following the Council on Postsecondary Education’s decision to allow a 3% in-state undergraduate tuition increase next year, instead of the 5% hike WKU had requested.
But in an email to WKU faculty and staff yesterday, Dr. Ransdell said “no one will lose their employment at WKU" despite the school having to cut $2.1 million from its budget.
The WKU president said some employees might be relocated to other departments during the next academic year. He also said some 200 faculty members will receive market-salary adjustments worth a total of $500,000.
The Speed Art Museum in Louisville could complete its expansion and renovation five to 10 years early thanks to an $18 million donation.
The Courier-Journal reports work already has begun the project that will double the exhibition space and dramatically change the look of Kentucky's largest museum.
The new donation comes from the family of Brown-Forman Chairman Owsley Brown II. Before Brown's death in 2011, he served as chairman of the museum's building committee and honorary chairman of the capital campaign, which was raising money for the expansion.
Museum board president Allan Latts said the donation will allow the museum to shave $20 million off the project's original $79 million budget because of the lower cost of materials and labor.
Kenny Colston's report on Kentucky's 2014 U.S. Senate race
Senator Mitch McConnell's next election is a year and a half away, and he doesn't have a serious opponent. But this hasn't stopped him from amassing significant money and personnel for his re-election.
Every week, new field directors, political staff and fundraisers join the effort to re-elect McConnell. But while they have the same goal, they don't have the same boss. Some of the staffers work for McConnell's campaign. Others are paid by the Republican Party of Kentucky, while some answer to various SuperPACs.
Scott Jennings is in that last category. He's a longtime political operative who has worked on two presidential campaigns and for McConnell in the past. This year, he's working with the newly-formed Kentuckians for Strong Leadership and the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, which has just begun running ads supporting conservative ideas.
Jennings controls those organizations from an East Louisville office, which he shares with the PR firm he founded this year.
Jennings says conservative interest in the race has picked up now because supporters respect the role McConnell has played in blocking President Barack Obama's agenda.
Musical interests led Bill Rice into radio during the early 80s. While in college at the University of New Haven he spent most of his time at the student run station, acting as Station Manager, Jazz Director and Jazz Jock, Bottle Washer and Hall Monitor. Perplexed at being finally ejected - after all, he had graduated, they told him - Bill moved to Baltimore, where he landed his first real radio job at a little AM outfit. A short time later Bill went to work recording chamber concerts for broadcast at WBJC-FM, the NPR station in Baltimore. Heââ
The government is on the stand in the federal trial of Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton, Deputy Aaron Bennett, and Detective Eric Guffey. The three are on trial in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green for using excessive force on a suspect and lying about it to federal investigators.
Part of Monday’s testimony came from the FBI’s lead investigator on the case. Special Agent Mike Brown interviewed the three officers at the Barren County Sheriff’s Office in April 2010, about two months after suspect Billy Stinnett was allegedly beaten after being handcuffed.
Brown began each interview by reminding the officers that if they lied, they could be criminally charged. Brown said he also gave each defendant an opportunity to make corrections to their written statements to the FBI, but each officer affirmed their report was accurate. The reports, however, contained inconsistencies between the defendants and eye witnesses at the arrest scene.
Defense attorneys took Brown through a timeline of what they saw as shoddy investigative work, including failure to record interviews with the defendants and the fact a private citizen was asked to collect evidence from the scene.
Agent Brown will resume his testimony Tuesday morning under cross-examination.
A new report says the economic impact of tourism in Kentucky grew again last year.
The study reports a $12 billion impact for tourism last year. That's up about four and a half percent from the previous year. In addition, the report credits tourism for 174,000 jobs and $2.7 billion in wages.
In a statement, tourism officials give partial credit to growth of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
The series of distilleries has drawn steady interest since it's inception in 1999, but broke an attendance record last year, drawing over half a million visitors.
The prosecution continues to call witnesses Monday in the trial of Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton and two other southern Kentucky law enforcement officers.
On the stand Monday is Dave McClellan, one of the two FBI agents who investigated the alleged beating of drug suspect Billy Stinnett, who led officers on a high-speed, two-county chase in February of 2010, before crashing his van into a Glasgow church.
McClellan interviewed Sheriff Eaton, Barren County Sheriff's Deputy Aaron Bennett, and Barren-Metcalfe Drug Task Force Detective Eric Guffey after the 2010 incident. Each of the three men were told they could be criminally charged if information in the report turned out to be false.
The officers were adamant that the written reports they had produced about the chase and arrest of Stinnett were accurate.