Lattus given Sept. trial date

Lattus given Sept. trial date

By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
Hickman, Ky., murder suspect Tommy Lattus has been given a Sept. 10 trial date in Fulton County (Ky.) Circuit Court.
Circuit Court Judge Tim Langford set the trial date for Lattus Thursday. Lattus has been charged with Class A murder and first-degree burglary in the shooting death of Hickman Mayor Charles Murphy early Jan. 23.
The March term of the Fulton County Grand Jury returned a true bill against Lattus Thursday morning and he appeared before Langford about 1 p.m. Thursday on the second floor of the Fulton County Courthouse.
Lattus entered a not guilty plea during his five-minute court appearance.
He was flanked by his attorney, Dennis Null of Mayfield, Ky., and a group of law enforcement officials.
Lattus was wearing an orange jail jumpsuit and a bullet-proof vest, similar to what he wore when he was arraigned Jan. 31.
In addition to setting the Sept. 10 court date, Langford set a May 10 pre-trial conference for Lattus.
Null told The Messenger the conference was scheduled in order for both sides in the case to report their progress to the judge and for a possible plea agreement to be entered.
Also at Thursday’s court appearance, Lattus was ordered to undergo a 30-day psychiatric evaluation at the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center in Louisville, Ky.
Lattus remains jailed at the Fulton County Detention Center on a $1 million bond.
He originally appeared before Fulton County District Court Judge Hunter Whitesell on Jan. 31. At that 15-minute appearance, Hickman police officer Phillip Burnett testified Lattus showed up at the police department around 1:20-1:25 a.m. Jan. 23 and claimed to have killed Murphy.
“He said he killed Charles Murphy,” Burnett stated in court. The officer continued in his testimony to explain he called on emergency medical services workers to detain Lattus at the police department while he went to Murphy’s residence to verify Lattus’ statement.
Burnett testified he found Murphy dead at the foot of his bed in his bedroom and he said a side door had been “forced open.”
The officer testified the mayor appeared to have been killed by a gunshot wound to the head.
A 12-gauge Beretta was found on the porch at the murder scene, according to Burnett.
Lattus’ trial in September is expected to last about two to three days.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at kmbowden@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 3.9.12

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