Opening Statements in Goodrum Trial

By: Jon Hardison
By: Jon Hardison

Prosecutors and the defense outlined their cases Tuesday afternoon in opening statements of the Katie Autry murder trial.

16 jurors were seated around 2 Tuesday afternoon to hear what is expected to be up to 3 weeks of testimony from a witness list that numbers in the hundreds.

Warren County Commonwealth Attorney Chris Cohron got up first this afternoon to tell jurors why he believes 23-year old Lucas Goodrum raped Katie Autry, then set her on fire in her dorm room.

Cohron painted a gruesome and violent picture of the crime, saying Goodrum slammed Autry's head into a concrete wall before he raped and sodomized her, ordered co-defendant Stephen Soules to spray her with hair spray, then lit her on fire.

Cohron said Soules was in the room, but was an unwilling participant, who feared for his family's safety if he disobeyed Goodrum's orders.

Cohron admitted to the jury that the prosecution has no physical evidence tying goodrum to the crime scene, but says Soules has no reason to lie when he testifies that Goodrum was there.

But defense attorney David Broderick described Soules as the mastermind and sole perpetrator of the crime, and said Goodrum has never been to Hugh Poland Gall, and had nothing to do with crime.

In fact, Broderick says, Goodrum was 20 miles away in Scottsville when the crime happened, and he intends to prove that.

Time will become an important factor in this case, as the two sides' timelines of events the night of May 3, 2003 agree up until Lucas Goodrum left the Pi Kappa Alpha party where he saw Katie Autry.

The prosecution will begin presenting it's case Wednesdat morning at 9:00, which is expected to take up to a week.

The defense will get its shot whenever the prosecution rests.

All told, it could be 2 weeks before the jury gets this case.


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