WKYT - Lexington - Headlines

Police Chief: 'Mistakes were made' in homicide investigation

On Thursday afternoon, the Lexington Police Department held a news conference discussing how officers handled a woman's homicide.

Lexington Police Chief Ronnie Bastin admitted the police department made a mistake in its medical assessment of Umi Southworth.

He says after an initial review of policy with the Mayor, the Fayette County Coroner, the Commonwealth Attorney and Fire Chief he came up with ways to ensure it doesn't happen again.

The Chief presented some changes in policy that will go in effect immediately.

Among the changes presented, the first officer on scene will be responsible for immediately requesting emergency crews and rendering medical aid appropriate to their training.

Bastin says his officers are trained in CPR and first aid.

Another policy change is the Fire Department will now be responsible for calling the coroner.

Police say the internal investigation will continue, in the meantime the officers involved will stay on their normal duties.

Bastin says the results of the investigation will dictate whether or not disciplinary action will be taken.

There have been many questions about the hours before Umi Southworth's death.

Police were able to provide 27 NEWSFIRST with a more accurate time line.

According to police the first officer arrived at 1486 Meadowthorpe at 6:29pm on June 9th.

They didn't find Southworth however until 7:45.

At 9:35 the coroner arrives and at 11:07 emergency care is called.

Southworth died at UK Hospital last Thursday.

The Fayette County coroner's office is still awaiting the autopsy results that would give them exactly what caused Southworth's death.

Police say she was likely beaten with a piece of wood.


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