Former West Virginia Attorney's Trial Begins

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

He's facing murder charges after spending several years on the other side of the legal system.

Former West Virginia lawyer Lafe Ward's trial began in Pikeville.

Lafe Ward is accused of running a red light and causing a car accident last year that killed Benita Dixon.

Police say he was driving under the influence of both drugs and alcohol and charged him with murder.

Ward's attorney's say this is just a tragic accident, not a crime, and he should go free, but the commonwealth says he is guilty of murder because he caused Dixon's death.

The accident happened on U.S. 119 in South Williamson in front of Wal-Mart.

Dixon was a store manager there and was leaving work.

In opening arguments, prosecutors said before the accident, Ward was in his law office across the border in West Virginia drinking liquor.

They say he later drove to Kentucky and went to two different pharmacies and got several different kinds of prescription drugs and took some, before running a red light and hitting Dixon's car.

“There's a woman sitting here at the light who will tell you it looked like an explosion, boom. He just ran the light. a woman died from those injuries,” Rick Bartley, Commonwealth’s Attorney said

“He comes up on a busy intersection and he missed the stoplight, no depravity, no concern for human life? It was an accident!” David Freedman, Ward’s Attorney, said.

After opening statements, several witnesses of the accident testified about what they say.

Police and pharmacists are expected to testify later this week.


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