April 2013 trial date set for Hickman murder case

April 2013 trial date set for Hickman murder case
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
Tommy Lattus is scheduled to stand trial April 22-24, 2013, for the Jan. 23 shooting death of then Hickman, Ky., mayor Charles Murphy.
Lattus, 30, of Hickman, appeared in court at the Fulton County Courthouse Wednesday morning for a pre-trial hearing that lasted all of six minutes. He was escorted by a sheriff’s deputy to the defense table in front of Judge Tim Langford, where he sat quietly next to his attorney, Dennnis Null of Mayfield, Ky.
It was commonwealth attorney Mike Stacy who advised the judge, “We are continuing to negotiate.” His statement referred to a possible plea agreement, which, if reached, would cancel the need for a trial.
Wednesday’s hearing was scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., but didn’t get started until 10:25 as attorneys for both sides met with the judge in his chambers.
Lattus’ trial date had to be pushed back to April due to a busy court docket, it was revealed in court Wednesday.
The trial is expected to take three days and is scheduled to begin on the second floor of the Fulton County Courthouse at 9:30 a.m., according to Judge Langford.
Wednesday’s pre-trial hearing focused primarily on attorneys for both sides working out specific details for the trial. Another pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Feb. 14, at which time the attorneys will present an update to the court and would file any pre-trial motions leading up to Lattus’ trial.
The judge said he would also consider any other motions prior to the April trial date.
Stacy announced he would subpoena his witnesses for the trial.
At the conclusion of Wednesday’s brief pre-trial hearing, Null announced, “Judge, I think we’ve got everything else worked out.”
It was in the early morning hours of Jan. 23 that Lattus walked into the Hickman Police Department and voluntarily confessed to shooting Murphy, according to previous court testimony from Hickman police officer Phillip Burnett.
Lattus was ordered in March to undergo a psychiatric evaluation at the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center in Louisville.
He was deemed incompetent to stand trial based on testimony from Dr. Richard Johnson, a licensed psychologist at KCPC. Lattus was then ordered to undergo psychiatric treatment at Western State Hospital in Hopkinsville and last month was re-indicted by a Fulton County Grand Jury. He is facing a murder charge and first-degree burglary charge.
Lattus is being held in the Fulton County Detention Center on a $1 million cash bond.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at kmbowden@ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger 12.6.12

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