Woodford County coroner: 'It's one of the most gruesome cases'

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VERSAILLES, Ky. (WKYT) - It's a death so gruesome that the coroner tells us it even shocked him. Investigators have released more details about the case against a man they say shot his brother and dragged his body down a Woodford County road.

"You read about this in other states and so forth or in movies, but you never expect this in your hometown," said Ronald Owens, the coroner in Woodford County.

It's a crime he's not familiar with in Versailles, Kentucky.

"It's right up there at the top," said Owens. "All the other cases I've had haven't even come close to this one as far as a homicide case."

The coroner says autopsy results show Timmothy Saunders, 51, was shot and killed before police say the crime continued down Highway 33.

"He was tied up to the vehicle and drug on the highway after he was killed," said Owens.

Then his body was left on the road only to be discovered by a driver.

"Very gruesome scene," said Owens. "He turned around and saw that it was a corpse, and that's when he called 911."

Highway 33 is back open for now as the investigation continues, but marks from the alleged crime still trace about two miles of this road.

"If it had been raining, it probably would've washed all of our evidence away and may have never captured him," said Owens.

Vernon Saunders, 56, is charged with murder, tampering with physical evidence, and abuse of a corpse. He sits in jail for the death of his brother as family packs up his home, not commenting on what happened.

"It's kind of mind-boggling how a loved one could do that to their sibling," said Owens. "My heart goes out to the family. They're very distraught at this time."

Versailles Police tell us Vernon Saunders claimed he thought his brother was an intruder, and that's why he shot him. He then said he tried to dispose of his body without telling police because he was scared.

Vernon Saunders plead not guilty to murder on Monday. He and his family claim his brother Timmothy's death was an accident.

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