Prosecution Rests In Goodrum Trial

By: Jon Hardison
By: Jon Hardison

After 4 days of laying out their proof that Lucas Goodrum raped and murdered WKU freshman Katie Autry, prosecutors rested their case Monday.

The prosecution's case rests squarely on the testimony of co-defendant Stephen Soules, who says Goodrum forced him to participate in the brutal rape and sodomy of Autry, whose body was set on fire inside her dorm room May 4, 2003. Soules' story is backed up by the testimony of 3 current or former inmates in the Warren County Regional Jail, who say Goodrum confessed to being part of the crime while behind bars.

Goodrum's lawyers have repeatedly made the point that prosecutors have no physical evidence (DNA, fingerprints, etc.) tying their client to the crime. Defense attorney David Broderick grilled lead investigator Mike Dowell of the WKU police for more than 2 hours Monday, wondering why investigators waited until last month to follow up with Goodrum's stepmom, who is part of Goodrum's alibi. Broderick and Goodrum's mother Donna said they believe police are guilty of "a rush to judgement," which lead them to charge Goodrum.

Judge Tom Castlen will rule Tuesday on a motion by the defense for summary judgement, standard in capital cases. If granted, Goodrum would be instantly acquitted, and the week-old trial halted. If not, the defense will begin with the testimony of its forensic experts, who will point to the lack of physical evidence.

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