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Harlan County murder victim's son pleased with guilty verdict

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email
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HARLAN, Ky. (WYMT) - He says justice was served. A Harlan County murder victim's son says he waited more than one year to hear a guilty verdict.

Thursday night, a Harlan County jury convicted 40-year-old Robert Curry of murder for the death of Bruce Penix.

"My family was very pleased with the verdict. It was a moment of joy in a very tragic event," said David Penix, victim's son.

Prosecutors say Curry beat 47-year-old Bruce Penix to death at his home in September of 2012. The medical examiner testified Penix died from severe head injuries.

"Yesterday was the first day that I truly felt that my dad was at rest, and it was just a moment of overwhelming calm," said Penix.

Court security officers say Curry was not angry following the guilty verdict. They say once he was in the court holding cell, he yelled everyone in court lied about him.

The jury recommended a 25 year sentence.

"For the past year and a half you've had this dread, this fear this person who killed your father is going to get away with it, that he's going to get out. To finally know that it's over and he's going to have to serve time, that's an amazing feeling," said Penix.

Special Judge David Williams scheduled sentencing for April 8th.


The murder trial for Robert Curry started Tuesday in Harlan County.

Police say Curry killed 47-year-old Bruce Penix in September of 2012.

"It's been hard. There's conversations you wish you could have had before. There's things you wish you could have done," said David Penix, the victim's son.

Police say 40-year-old Robert Curry beat Penix to death.
David Penix was glad the trial started more than one year following his father's death.

"It's been a very long road. You can't really be excited for something like this, but we're glad we're here. We're ready to close this chapter of the book and start a new one," said David Penix.

During opening statements, prosecutors say police found Bruce Penix dead in his home in Kildav. They say Curry was asleep nearby with Penix's blood on his hands and even the sole of his shoe.

The medical examiner who conducted the autopsy testified Penix died from severe head injuries.

Curry's defense attorney claimed Penix had a possible deadly blood-alcohol level, but the medical examiner said alcohol did not cause his death, the injuries did.

"My dad died in a way no one deserved to die, so to know the person who could be responsible is six feet from me, that's hard to deal with," David Penix said of seeing Curry in court.

The first troopers on the scene also testified and said they found Penix dead and Curry in the home asleep. Troopers said they put Curry in a cruiser and say he began yelling and banging his head on the car door.

The defense attorney argues Curry was not responsible for the death.

The trial continues on Wednesday.

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