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Pre-trial conference held in Hickman murder case

Pre-trial conference held in Hickman murder case
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
Another pre-trial conference was held Thursday morning in Fulton County (Ky.) District Court for murder suspect Tommy Lattus. The brief hearing ended with the court scheduling another hearing at 10 a.m. Aug. 28,  less than two weeks before his murder trial is scheduled to begin.
Lattus, 30, stands charged with the Jan. 23 shooting death of Hickman Mayor Charles Murphy. He has also been charged with first-degree burglary.
The murder trial for Lattus has been set for Sept. 10 in Hickman.
Thursday’s pre-trial conference marks the third such court hearing for Lattus. Previously, conferences were held in early May and late June.
Mayfield, Ky., attorney Dennis Null is representing Lattus and Circuit Court Judge Tim Langford is handling the case.
Lattus is undergoing an extensive, court-ordered psychiatric evaluation at the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center in Louisville, Ky. He is being held on a $1 million bond.
The charges against Lattus were filed after Murphy was found murdered at his Hickman residence in the early morning hours of Jan. 23. Hickman police officer Phillip Burnett has testified in court that Lattus entered the Hickman Police Department early that morning and declared that he had killed Murphy.
Burnett has also testified in court that he had Lattus detained at the police department around 1:30 a.m. while he went to Murphy’s residence, where he found the mayor dead at the foot of his bed in the master bedroom. He testified Murphy had been shot in the head and that he found the door to Murphy’s home had been forced open and there was a 12-gauge Beretta shotgun on the porch at the murder scene.
At the heart of the case against Lattus is his mental competency to stand trial.
Null has told The Messenger the case is “very complicated.”
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Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at kmbowden@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 8.10.12

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