Suspects face Sept. 22 court date

Shawntaye Hopkins

Two Scottsville men charged with the murder and rape of Pellville freshman Melissa “Katie” Autry in her Hugh Poland Hall dorm last May will be in court on Sept. 22 for a pre-trial conference.

Warren Circuit Judge Thomas R. Lewis will preside.

Lucas B. Goodrum, 21, was arrested by Kentucky State Police on May 11 and Stephen L. Soules, 20, was arrested by KSP on May 12.

Warren County grand jurors indicted Goodrum, 21, on eight felony counts of murder, rape, sodomy, arson and/or the intention of facilitating or promoting the commission of each act. He pleaded not guilty in the Warren Circuit Court to all charges.

Grand jurors also indicted Soules on nine felony counts of murder, rape, sodomy, arson and/or the intention of facilitating or promoting each of these acts. He was also indicted for robbery and pleaded not guilty to all charges at his arraignment in Warren Circuit Court.

Campus police Sgt. Mike Dowell testified in a May hearing that Soules confessed to raping, sodomizing and covering Autry with hairspray, The Courier-Journal reported. Dowell said Soules told police Goodrum raped, sodomized and set Autry on fire.

The Warren County commonwealth’s attorney’s office has filed notices saying they plan to seek the death penalty against the two men.

“Anytime there’s a homicide coupled by an aggravated offense … these are all qualifiers for the death penalty,” assistant commonwealth’s attorney Chris Cohron said.

Soules and Goodrum are currently in custody at the Warren County Regional Jail. They are being held without bond.

On May 4, Autry returned to Poland room 214 after leaving a party at the Pi Kappa Alpha house on Chestnut Street. At about 4 a.m., a fire was reported in the dorm.

The fire was extinguished by the sprinkler system. Autry was found in her room and transported to Vanderbilt Medical University. She had suffered stab wounds and third-degree burns.

She died at Vanderbilt on May 7.

Reach Shawntaye Hopkins at [email protected]