The two Scottsville men accused of committing murder together will have separate trials.
Judge Tom Lewis granted a motion to separately try the two men charged in the murder of Pellville freshman Melissa “Katie” Autry during a pretrial conference yesterday in Warren Circuit Court.
The motion was made by Lucas Goodrum’s attorney.
Lewis scheduled another hearing for 9 a.m. on Friday to discuss Stephen Soules’ defense team and to set trial dates.
Lewis also declined motions made last week to dismiss the indictment against Goodrum, 21, and to appoint a public defender as co-counsel for Soules.
Soules’ attorney, Zachary Kafoglis, said his client needs two attorneys because he could face the death penalty if convicted.
Renae Tuck, directing attorney for the Bowling Green public advocate office, said Soules cannot have a public defender or state-funded experts on his side because he is not considered indigent.
Soules, 20, forfeited his indigent status by having a paid attorney represent him, Tuck said. He would otherwise be considered indigent and be eligible for state aid because he is incarcerated and unemployed.
“I understand what Mr. Kafoglis is asking for, but I am shocked at what Mr. Kafoglis is asking for because it is a detriment to his client,” Tuck said during the conference.
Kafoglis said during the hearing that he may not be able to represent Soules because of Lewis’ decision not to appoint a public defender.
Soules is expected to decide by Friday’s hearing whether he will stick with Kafoglis or be represented by public defenders.
Tuck said her office has two attorneys ready to represent Soules if that should happen.
Goodrum’s fate may depend on the outcome of Soules’ trial.
Goodrum’s attorney, David Broderick, said the commonwealth’s attorney does not have fingerprints, eye witnesses, video or scientific evidence against his client.
Broderick said the only evidence against his client is a statement given by Soules, which he also questioned.
“Mr. Soules gave five different stories as to what happened,” Broderick said.
He said grand jury testimony placed Goodrum in Scottsville 15 minutes after Autry talked to her roommate on the telephone from Poland Hall.
Assistant commonwealth attorney Mike Pearson argued the indictment could not be dismissed and had to be sent to a jury for trial.
He also recommended that trial dates be set.
The commonwealth’s attorneys won’t be ready to try Soules until they get laboratory results on some pieces of evidence, Pearson said. Those results aren’t expected back for at least 90 days.
Prosecutors want to try Soules first.
Assistant commonwealth’s attorney Chris Cohron said they intend to use testimony from Soules’ trial against Goodrum.
Broderick also asked for the bond to be set for Goodrum because he will have to wait until Soules’ trial is finished.
Both Goodrum and Soules have been held without bond at Warren County Regional Jail since their arrest in May.
Soules was indicted on eight felony counts related to the incident. Goodrum was indicted on nine.
Autry was beaten, raped, sodomized and set afire in her dorm room on the second floor of Poland Hall on May 4.
She died three days later at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.
Reach Joseph Lord at [email protected]