Autry Appeals to be Heard Tomorrow

By Becca Gibson | 

Appeals will be heard tomorrow, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2007, to determine whether Western Kentucky University can be held partially responsible for the death of Katie Autry.

The brutal murder of Western Kentucky University student Katie Autry shocked the campus and the Bowling Green community and now the case is headed to the Kentucky Supreme Court.

Pellville freshman Katie Autry was beaten, raped and set on fire in her WKU dorm room back in 2003.

Warren Circuit Court dropped wrongful death claims against the University because of governmental immunity and tomorrow the High Court will hear appeals to decide if Western and the Student Life Foundation can be named in a wrongful death suit filed by the Autry family.

Attorney Ben Crocker is representing the Autry estate. He will argue that Western should share the blame in Autry's death because of a lack of safety measures on campus.

The university's attorney, Greg Stivers, refused to comment on pending litigation but he did say Western should be dropped from the suit because of the school's governmental immunity.

Stephen Soules, of Scottsville, pleaded guilty to Autry's murder in 2004 and received a life sentence.

Lucas Goodrum, also of Scottsville, was found not guilty in 2005.