Lisa Autry

Reporter/Producer

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum.  She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years.  Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville.  She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky.  Many of her stories have been heard on NPR. 

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Regional
1:52 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Stinnett Testifies in Federal Trial of Barren County Sheriff, Two Other Law Enforcement Officers

The man who says he was beaten by four southern Kentucky law enforcement officers while in custody is on the stand Thursday at the federal courthouse in Bowling Green.

Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton, deputy Aaron Bennett, and Barren-Edmonson Drug Task Force Detective Eric Guffey face charges of beating suspect Billy Stinnett, and then lying about it to federal investigators. A fourth officer who took part in the beating avoided prosecution by testifying against the other three.

On the stand Thursday, Stinnett acknowledged that he led the officers on a high-speed chase through two counties before crashing his van into a Glasgow church. Stinnett also admitted that he was high on meth at the time, and had a mobile meth lab in the back of his vehicle.

Stinnett says after he crashed into the church he thew his hands up in the air and started going to the ground. Stinnett testified that Sheriff Eaton then began to strike him on the head with a baton without giving any commands.

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Regional
10:00 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Former Deputy Admits Lying Under Oath Prior to Barren County Sheriff's Trial

The prosecution will call more witnesses Thursday in the trial of Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton, Deputy Aaron Bennett, and drug task force Detective Eric Guffey.  The law enforcement officers are facing federal charges of deprivation of rights and obstruction of justice relating to the arrest of a suspect and the resulting FBI investigation. 

The defense spent most of Wednesday cross-examining former deputy Adam Minor, who in 2010, joined in the arrest of meth suspect Billy Stinnett following an hour-long car and foot chase. 

Minor first entered a not guilty plea, but later pled guilty to one count of making false statements to federal investigators.  Minor is cooperating with the government and testifying against Sheriff Eaton and the other officers. 

Minor told jurors when he arrived on the scene that day, Stinnett was already in handcuffs and non-combative, although the alleged beating of Stinnett continued.  Minor admitted to kicking the suspect while Deputy Bennett threw punches at his head and while Sheriff Eaton took swings at him with a baton.

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Regional
11:28 am
Wed May 1, 2013

In Wednesday Testimony at Eaton Trial, Prosecution Witness Admits to Previously Lying Under Oath

Day two of testimony is underway in the trial of Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton and two other law enforcement officers who are accused of beating a witness who was in custody, and then lying to the FBI about it.

The three are charged with violating the civil rights on suspect Billy Stinnett following his arrest in 2010 in Glasgow. Testimony resumed Wednesday morning with prosecution witness and former Barren County Sheriff's deputy Adam Minor.

Under questioning by federal prosecutor Sanjay Patel, Minor admitted to lying under oath on three different occasions because Sheriff Eaton told him to do so. Minor said he feared being fired, or worse.

Under cross-examination by defense attorney Guthrie True, Minor acknowledged that he had previously denied taking part in the beating of Stinnett in testimony in state court and before a grand jury. True implied during his questioning that since Minor was willing to lie to a grand jury of Glasgow citizens he was supposed to protect and serve, then he would surely be willing to lie now to jurors at the Warren County federal courthouse.

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Regional
8:00 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Key Prosecution Witness Takes Stand in Trial of Barren County Sheriff

Testimony resumes Wednesday in the trial of Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton, former deputy Aaron Bennett, and Barren County Drug Task Force Detective Eric Guffey. The three law enforcement officers are accused of beating a suspect in custody and trying to cover up the assault to federal investigators. 

The prosecution's star witness, Adam Minor, was on the witness stand for most of the day Tuesday. Minor said he was a willing participant in the alleged attack on suspect Billy Stinnett. Originally facing the same federal charges as the officers on trial, he pleaded guilty to one of the charges and agreed to testify for the prosecution in exchange for a lighter sentence. 

Minor told jurors when he and other officers arrived on the scene on February 24, 2010, Sheriff Eaton was beating Stinnett with a baton and allegedly said “It’s your all’s turn.” Minor admitted hitting Stinnett because he was mad after the hour-long pursuit through two counties before Stinnett crashed his van into a Glasgow church.

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Regional
3:41 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Glasgow Sisters Testify in Federal Trial of Barren County Sheriff, Two Others

Testimony began Tuesday in the federal trial of Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton and two other law enforcement officers accused of beating a suspect in custody. The three are also charged with trying to cover up their actions by lying in documents given to the FBI.

On the witness stand Tuesday afternoon were two Glasgow sisters who witnessed the 2010 episode between the suspect and officers. First to speak was a fifteen-year-old who was 12 when a van crashed into a Glasgow church where she was preparing for evening worship with her youth group. She testified she wasn't sure how suspect Billy Stinnett got on the ground, but she said she saw uniformed officers kicking and hitting him.

She also testified that she didn't remember if Stinnett was in handcuffs or if he had a weapon.

Her older sister, who was 16 at the time, testified she saw Stinnett on the ground, with his hands cuffed behind his back. Defense attorneys asked the girls if they knew anything about the suspect, who was high on meth at time, or the two-county chase he had led officers on before crashing his van.

The girls said they didn't, and also said this was the first time they had ever seen anyone placed under arrest.

Jurors are expected to hear from several other teen witnesses in the trial that is expected to last up to two weeks.

Regional
8:08 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Jury Seated to Hear Excessive Force Case Against Barren County Sheriff, Others

Testimony begins Tuesday in the federal trial of Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton and two other officers charged with using excessive force on a suspect in custody and lying about it to federal investigators. 

Sheriff Eaton, Deputy Aaron Bennett, and Barren County Drug Task Force Detective Eric Guffey are accused of civil rights violations in the arrest of a methamphetamine suspect who led officers on a two-county car chase in 2010. 

The defense will argue the suspect, Billy Stinnett, was combative and the use of force appropriate for the situation. Among the expected witnesses is former Deputy Adam Minor who was originally facing the same charges, but pleaded guilty to one charge of making false statements to the FBI.  In a deal with prosecutors, Minor will testify against the sheriff and two other officers.  

The trial in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green is expected to last at least a week.

Regional
12:16 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Motorcycle Crash Kills Two in Warren County

A deadly motorcycle crash early Monday morning in Warren County is under investigation.  

According to a Kentucky State Police news release, a Bowling Green police officer noticed the motorcycle operator driving recklessly on Lovers Lane.  The officer attempted a traffic stop but the motorcyclist refused to pull over and took off at a high rate of speed.  The operator lost control of the motorcycle and hit a rock fence on Ewing Ford Road. 

The driver was 22-year-old Timothy Madison of Bowling Green and his passenger was 24-year-old Sandrice Parker also of Bowling Green.  Both were pronounced dead at the scene.

Education
10:44 am
Mon April 29, 2013

SKYCTC Presidential Finalists Visit Bowling Green Campus

Four finalists vying for the presidency of Southern Kentucky Community and Technical College will visit the Bowling Green campus this week for interviews and public forums. 

Southern Kentucky Community and Technical College Provost Phillip Neal is the only in-house candidate. Dr. Lynn Moore from Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon is Vice President for Administrative Services and Student Development. Dr. George Sehi is Executive Director of University Relations from the Warren and Butler County, Ohio Educational Service Centers, and Dr. Ralph Sony is the publisher and editor of the North Carolina Community College Journal. 

Current Southern Kentucky Community and Technical College President Nathan Hodges is retiring after eight years at the helm. Under his leadership, the school change its named from Bowling Green Technical College to reflect an expansion of the school’s offerings and reach. 

Hodges’ successor will be named by July first.

Regional
1:41 pm
Sun April 28, 2013

Trial Starts Monday for Barren County Sheriff, Others Accused of Using Excessive Force

Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton, a deputy sheriff, and a detective go on trial Monday on charges of civil rights violations and lying to federal investigators.  The case stems from a 2010 arrest in which the three officers were accused of using excessive force. 

Jury selection begins Monday at 9:00am in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green for Sheriff Chris Eaton, Deputy Aaron Bennett, and Barren-Edmonson County Drug Task Force Detective Eric Guffey. 

According to the federal indictment, a 13-year old girl was at a Glasgow church on the night of February 24, 2010, when she looked out the window and saw suspect Billy Randall Stinnett struggling with the local sheriff and several deputies. 

In testimony to the FBI, the girl and four other teenagers present say they saw Eaton and the deputies beating Stinnett to the point where they thought he was being murdered. 

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Education
12:10 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Merger Plan Moving Forward in Two Southern Kentucky School Districts

A financially troubled school district in southern Kentucky has voted to merge with the county school system. 

The Monticello school board approved a plan Monday night that calls for merging with the Wayne County School District, effective July 1st. 

Monticello schools went under state management in February after borrowing more than a million dollars from the state just to keep its three schools open for the rest of the academic year. 

The Wayne County School Board has called a special meeting Tuesday night and members are expected to sign off on the merger.

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