The Scottsville man accused of murdering WKU freshman Katie Autry in her dorm room pleaded not guilty. Twenty-one-year-old Lucas Goodrum appeared before Judge Joann Coleman, in Warren District Court Monday morning. Judge Coleman appointed Goodrum a public defender.
Goodrum was arrested at 1 a.m. Sunday morning at the Kentucky State Police post in Bowling Green. He's been charged with murdering 18-year-old Katie Autry in her dorm room at Hugh Poland Hall more than one week ago. Goodrum remains in the Warren County Regional Jail under a $1 million cash bond. His preliminary hearing is set for Monday May 19.
There's a new twist into the death of Autry, as a man tells police he witnessed the whole thing. Authorities confirmed there was indeed an eyewitness to this horrific crime. The arrest citation in the Katie Autry murder mentions an eyewitness, a man who says he watched Lucas Goodrum carry out the violent attack on Autry. The eyewitness stated that on May 4th he observed Lucas Goodrum, rape, beat and set on fire the body of Mellissa Autry in Room 214.
This new information still does not reveal the connection between Autry and Goodrum, but we do continue to learn more about Goodrum's past history. In November of 2001, Lucas Goodrum was charged with violation of an emergency protection order brought forth by his ex-wife, Ladonna Goodrum. The charged was eventually dropped. His record also includes a number of traffic violations and one charge of receiving stolen property. Newscenter13 has learned Goodrum is connected with a well-known family from Allen County. Goodrum's stepfather, Bruce Dugas, is the grandson of Dollar General founder Cal Turner.
In addition, Goodrum was a graduate of Allen County High School. He attended the school, left for Texas, returning his senior year to graduate in 2000. He is currently unemployed.
Witnesses say that Lucas Goodrum attended Saturday's visitation for Katie Autry at the William Danks Funeral Home in Beaver Dam. Autry's family members say they saw a young, white male at the visitation and didn't know who he was. William Danks, the funeral home director, says he doesn't know if Goodrum spoke to anyone but Goodrum did not sign the registry.
Western officials say preliminary autopsy results are still unavailable.