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Posted: Friday, 10 January 2014 3:10PM

Claude Russell Hearing Continued



Trigg Circuit Judge Woody Woodall needs to hear more evidence from the attorneys of Claude Russell before ruling on a motion to dismiss the murder case against him. The court heard nearly three hours of testimony from witnesses and arguments from attorneys Friday morning, with Judge Woodall upholding the subpoena duces tecum on Sheriff Ray Burnam, which requires him to turn any evidence over to the Commonwealth. Woodall did, however, delay ruling on the motion to dismiss as Russell's attorney John Stewart still has two witnesses to call.

Among those to testify Friday was Sheriff Burnam, who sent a letter to Kentucky State Police Captain Nathan Kent in 2009 offering to help solve the case when he returned from active duty.


   
Stewart argues that several people offered testimony that would prove Russell's innocence in the 2002 death of Chantel Humphries. Included in that were Antonio Wharton and Travis Mayes. Sheriff Burnam says two tapes were made when Wharton was interviewed.


   
During cross-examination by special prosecutor Tim Coleman, Burnam admitted to only giving KSP a verbal indication of what was discussed in the second interview, during which Wharton allegedly claimed Hollis and Lanny Alexander were involved in the murder. While Mayes offered his information in exchange for dismissal of drug and assault of an officer charges against him.


   
Stewart still wants to call an incarcerated man to the stand as well as Commonwealth's Attorney G.L. Ovey.  Stewart again accused KSP Lead Detective Steve Silfies of tampering with a witness and the Commonwealth of withholding evidence and "playing a cat and mouse game".  A date for the second part of the hearing will be set based on the availability of Ovey.

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