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Double Murder-Suicide In Perry County

HAZARD, Ky. (AP) - A man shot and killed an elected official and
a county employee at an eastern Kentucky convenience store Friday,
then turned the gun on himself, a deputy coroner said.

Jerry Fugate, 55, shot Magistrate Jimmy Darrell Neace and county
road department employee Lewallen Caudill, deputy coroner Kyle
Wolfe said.

Police said the shooting happened around 11:30 a.m. Friday in
the parking lot of Ben's Quick Stop near Hazard, a rural town more
than 100 miles southeast of Lexington.

Wolfe said Neace, 53, of Hazard and Caudill, 60, of Jeff, Ky.,
were each shot once at close range with a shotgun.

Police did not give a motive.

Store clerk Gracie Campbell said she had to walk around bodies
in the parking lot when she got to work. She said Neace and Caudill
often had lunch at the store.

"If they were in this end of the county, they came here to
eat," she said.

A black Plymouth that Campbell said belonged to Fugate was still
parked out front Friday afternoon.

Neace's brother, Don Neace, told the Lexington Herald Leader
that he couldn't understand why anyone would want to kill him.

"It just doesn't make sense," he said.

The bodies were being taken to Frankfort for autopsies scheduled
Saturday, Wolfe said.

Perry County Judge-Executive Denny Ray Noble said Neace, whose
duties were like that of a city council member but on the county
level, was in his second term. He said Fugate, of Rowdy, Ky., was
also a county employee who had been on leave.

Walter Hughes of Perry County, who said his cousin was Neace's
ex-wife, expressed disbelief while eating Friday night at Ben's
Quick Stop.

"There are things we just don't understand, I guess," Hughes
said.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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