Cohron Defends Prosecution of Goodrum Case

By: Jon Hardison
By: Jon Hardison

It's been 3 weeks since the acquittal of murder defendant Lucas Goodrum. Goodrum was accused of raping, sodomizing, and setting fire to WKU freshman Katie Autry in her dorm room. But jurors found Goodrum not guilty, citing a lack of physical evidence and what one juror called a "shoddy investigation."

The man in charge of prosecuting the case says he won't comment on or criticize the investigation, but he says a lack of physical evidence isn't unusual.

"In most cases, physical evidence is the exception rather than the rule. Especially in violent offenses you just count on, most times, not having it. With having eyewitnesses at the scene, with having people that also inculpated Mr. goodrum, we still felt we had a viable prosecution," Cohron says.

The not guilty verdict shocked the Autry family. "I had been told by some good sources, people that I do trust, that there wasn't enough evidence to convict Lucas Goodrum. But I chose not to listen to them, because I chose to listen to what I was being told. So I guess I set myself up for the major heartbreak," Virginia White, Autry's aunt, said.

Cohron says he understands and sympathizes with the Autry family. He says the quality of the investigation wasn't the determining factor in the verdict. In the end, he says, the jury had to choose who to believe, and they chose Goodrum and his alibi. He says he is trying to turn the page, but not before learning lessons from this case.

"Each case is a learning experience, that's why we call it the practice of law. You would be a fool not to look back and try and examine, you always try and see what you can do better. You know in all cases, win or lose, perfect circumstances to tough case, in every case we look back at a trial at the end of pleas even, and we look at what could have done better with each case," Cohron says.

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