The capital murder trial for one of the men accused of raping and killing WKU freshman Katie Autry in her dorm room on May 3, 2003 will be delayed until March 8, 2005.
Despite defense objections, Special Judge Thomas Castlen granted Commonwealth Attorney Chris Cohron's request for a continuance on the basis of more time needed for DNA testing. Six hairs of a 60-hair sample taken from Goodrum in May will be sent to a lab in Dallas, and will take between eight-10 weeks to return final results on whether they match samples taken from the crime scene.
Lucas Goodrum, 23, has been behind bars for 14 months awaiting trial on charges he and former co-defendant Stephen Soules raped Autry and then set her on fire. Soules pleaded guilty in April and agreed to testify against Goodrum at trial.
Judge Castlen did agree, however, to reconsider the issue of bond for Goodrum, who has been without bond since his arrest. Castlen said he will determine a date for a new bond hearing on Friday; that hearing could come as early as next week.
"I trust the judge's decision, and my son is innocent," said Donna Dugas, Goodrum's mother. "I'm not a judge. I'm just Lucas's mother, and I'm just here to let you know that I love him, we know he's innocent, and we support him 100 percent."
"They need their time to have the DNA done, and I understand that," said Virginia White, Autry's aunt and a family spokesperson. "I'm sure the end of the trial will bring, I don't know what it will bring. I don't know what brings closure, I don't know."
Judge Castlen also denied a defense motion to conduct an independent psychological evaluation of Soules, whose testimony is considered a cornerstone of the prosecution's case.