Defense Rests in Lawrence Stinnett Trial

By: Daniel Kemp Email
By: Daniel Kemp Email

The defense has rested in the murder and kidnapping trial involving Lawrence Stinnett.

Stinnett is accused of the kidnapping and beating death of Christina Renshaw back in 2006.

On the last day of testimony, Lawrence Stinnett put his former attorney, Betti Niemi, on the witness stand.

"Did I and you have a serious conflict?" Niemi responded to Stinnett. "One of us had a serious conflict," she said.

Niemi was Stinnett's counsel in 2006 before removing herself from the case.

"Didn't the defense file a complaint on you to the Kentucky Bar Association?" Stinnett asked Niemi.

"It was dismissed," Niemi said. "I'm prohibited from discussing it."

Stinnett asked Niemi about the absence of a rape kit, and if one was indeed taken on Christina Renshaw, but was never made known.

"The only information I have about the rape kit is what I was told by the commonwealth attorney. I've never seen a report of a rape kit," Niemi said.

"There's no nefarious plot between you and I to destroy a rape kit?" Commonwealth Attorney Chris Cohron asked during cross-examination."

"No sir," Niemi said.

"No nefarious plot between you and the Bowling Green Police Department to destroy a rape kit?"

"No."

Police have testified that a rape kit wasn't requested in the case because sexual assault wasn't suspected.

But it's been a request of Stinnett and a talking point during his questioning of a number of witnesses.

It's also become a subject of rebuttal from the prosecution.

"Some of the requests that were made over time, were requests for items that didn't exist," said Jonathan Hieneman, co-counsel for Stinnett, on the witness stand today.

"Not that they disappeared or were destroyed, but maybe things your client hoped existed?" Cohron asked.

"All I can say is they're items that didn't exist," Hieneman said.

"The rape kit we've heard about for three weeks now?" Cohron asked.

"That is one of them," Hieneman said.

Closing arguments from the defense and the prosecution are set for Thursday.

The jury will also be handed a set of instructions for deciding whether Stinnett is innocent or guilty.

If convicted on both charges of murder and kidnapping, Stinnett could face the death penalty.


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