Subpoena denied in murder case

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By Gina Clear, Landmark News Service


A Hodgenville man charged with two counts of murder after he struck and killed an Elizabethtown couple last August appeared Tuesday in Hardin Circuit Court.

The hearing for Earl Dale Richardson, 47, was to address a motion to reject a subpoena for insurance records for victim Johnie M. Dennis entered by Richardson’s attorney, public defender Heather Stroutman.

Attorney for State Farm Insurance Co. Ryan Quick, argued some documents held by the insurance company are not relevant for evidence and that because no specific documents were requested, it constituted as a “fishing expedition”by the defense.

Quick also argued the documents containing information why the insurance company resolved a claim in the incident are protected by attorney-client privilege.

Judge Ken Howard said some documents the insurance company may have about the wreck may be pertinent to Richardson’s case, but agreed with Quick that the subpoena requesting “any and all documents” was not specific.

“The subpoena must be reduced in scope,” he told Stroutman. “It is too broad.”

He went on to say the subpoena can be reissued to ask for specific documents at the time of the wreck.

Including the murder charges, Richardson also was indicted on first-degree wanton endangerment, tampering with physical evidence, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicants , first offense and no operator’s license.

According to the indictment, which was returned in October, Richardson was driving under the influence of alcohol Aug. 18, 2013, when he was involved in a fatal wreck that killed Johnie Dennis, 75, and Luevenia Dennis, 71, on Lincoln Parkway. Richardson’s 10-year-old son, who was a passenger in his vehicle, also was injured in the crash.

According to Kentucky State Police, Richardson was traveling south on Lincoln Parkway in a 1997 Chevrolet Blazer while Johnie Dennis was westbound on Roundtop Road in a 2004 Nissan Sentra.

Police said the Sentra pulled into the path of Richardson’s Blazer as Johnie Dennis’ Sentra attempted to cross the parkway. The Blazer struck the passenger side of the Sentra and forced both vehicles off the road.

Following the wreck, Richardson hid “several beer cans in an attempt to prevent police officers from locating them during the course of their investigation,” according to the indictment, which also said he did not have a valid driver’s license at the time of the collision.

Richardson is lodged in the Hardin County Detention Center in lieu of a $500,000 cash bond. His trial is set for Oct. 20.