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Suspect arraigned on murder charge

Suspect arraigned on murder charge
Suspect arraigned on murder charge | Suspect arraigned on murder charge
From AP, staff reports
Murder suspect Tommy Lattus, 30, of Hickman, Ky., remains in jail at the Fulton County (Ky.,) Detention Center today after being arraigned Tuesday afternoon in Hickman.
Lattus has been charged with the shooting death of Hickman Mayor Charles Murphy, 68. He stands accused of shooting Murphy with a shotgun early Monday morning, according to Hickman Police Chief Tony Grogan.
Lattus entered Murphy’s residence on Clay Street and shot Murphy in his bedroom, according to the police chief.
After the shooting, Grogan stated Lattus turned himself in at the Hickman Police Department and confessed to the murder.
Lattus was returned to the Hickman jail on a $1 million cash bond Tuesday. The Fulton County court entered an automatic not guilty plea for Lattus.
The Hickman Police De-partment has a witness who told authorities he heard a gunshot at the Murphy residence and said he saw Lattus’ truck leaving the house around the time of the shooting, according to Grogan.
An on-duty police officer responded to Murphy’s residence after Lattus turned himself in at the Hickman Police Department and discovered forced entry to Murphy’s house. The officer “found Mayor Charles Murphy in the bedroom. He had been shot and was unresponsive,” according to Grogan.
Grogan says Lattus walked into the police station early Monday and said he’d shot Murphy, who had dated his adoptive mother.
Lattus is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Tuesday. He was assigned a defense lawyer Tuesday.
Monday’s shooting has stunned many residents of Hickman, a town of about 2,500 people. Many residents knew Murphy as their school principal.
Minimal details about the shooting are being officially released by the Hickman Police Department, due to the fact the murder is an ongoing investigation.
“It wasn’t random or anything like that; it’s personal,” Grogan told The Associated Press about the shooting. “As far as clear motive, I would assume that it’s just that he didn’t like him.”
Multiple shots were fired, but Grogan wouldn’t say how many times Murphy was hit.
Grogan said Lattus may have been upset with Murphy over the relationship with his adoptive mother, Carole Lattus.
“Sometimes they broke up, sometimes they got back together,” Grogan said of the relationship.
Carole Lattus had adopted her son as a child when she was married to his father, who died several years ago, friends said.
The police chief added: “From Tommy’s point of view, I think he might have had some friction, from things that happened in the past.”
The mayor’s brother and neighbor, Fred Murphy, said his nephew told him Monday that the mayor had asked his son to call periodically to check on his welfare when Lattus came to visit him in recent days. Published in The Messenger 1.25.12

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