Murder trial begins in Clay County Sheriff slaying case

By Morgan Lentes | 

MANCHESTER, Ky (WYMT) - Oran Brumley previously admitted to killing former Clay County Sheriff James "Matt" Sizemore and the commonwealth's attorney said that is all jurors need to know to convict him.

However, the defense contends that was a false confession made by a desperate man.

Brumley sat in Clay County Circuit Court on Thursday, some 40 years after investigators claim he shot and killed Matt Sizemore in June of 1969.

Gary Gregory is prosecuting this case and said after a key piece of evidence, the jury will have no choice but to convict.

"He tells you about the details involved in how he killed him, why he killed him, where he killed him and how he wanted to kill him and how we was paid to kill him. When you hear the totality of his confession along with all the details, it really is too much to overcome," said Gregory.

But defense attorney Wendy Craig disputes that saying Brumley made that up in an attempt to escape prison time in Ohio where he was convicted of another murder.

"He and his cohort up in Ohio came up with this scheme so that they could get home. When he was younger, he probably just wanted to be in the state. Now that he's older, he wants to come home, we think, to die," said Craig.

Craig said Brumley's health is deteriorating and that he will die in prison regardless of this trial's outcome.

Still, she said she is hopeful the jury will hear her client out.

"He is no angel. There is no point in even going there. But we do not in the country convict people when there is no evidence," said Craig.

Both Gregory and Craig admit there is a significant lack of physical evidence in this case. But they disagree over the importance of the defendant's prior confession to the crime.

"A defendant always needs a defense and something is better than nothing," said Gregory.

The jury consists of seven women and five men. The trial will continue Friday morning at 9am.

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