Witnesses Take The Stand In Trial For Accused Cop Killer

MOUNT STERLING, Ky. (AP) - The first people on the scene after a small Kentucky town's police chief was shot to death last year testified Thursday against the man accused killing him.

Witnesses described the scene in the first moments after Clay City Police Chief Randy Lacy was killed in his patrol car last year. Jamie Barnett, 38, is charged with capital murder in the shooting.

Penny Nearia testified she saw Lacy's patrol car spin out of control and watched a man in handcuffs crawl out, who she identified as Barnett.

"It was a mess," she testified, sobbing. "There was blood everywhere. That's all I remember. He was already dead."

Defense attorneys argued that Barnett was too intoxicated to know what he was doing. Prosecutors depicted Barnett as knowing right from wrong.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. The trial was moved to Montgomery County because of publicity.

Danny McCormick, a deputy sheriff in Powell County, was called for backup when Barnett was initially arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. McCormick testified that Lacy took a box of needles and syringes out of Barnett's truck during the initial stop.

Later, McCormick went to the window of Lacy's car and saw the police chief shot.

"I saw his head stooped over the steering wheel and I saw the blood. I still didn't know he was shot," said McCormick, who called an ambulance to the scene.

McCormick saw Barnett face down on the ground.

"He said, 'Danny, go ahead and shoot me. Shoot me now'," McCormick recalled Barnett saying.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved


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