UPDATED: Three defendants in Powell death bound over to Grand Jury
The shooting of Chris Powell on the morning of Sunday, January 20 by Shawn Richie led to Powell's death according to testimony laid out by KSP Sergaent Chris Larison at the preliminary hearing in front of Judge Bill Kuster. The weapon used was a high-powered pellet gun, that Richie and Jason Wallace, both did not think would seriously injure let alone kill Powell. Judge Kuster bound all both over to the Grand Jury with probable cause of manslaughter in the first degree.
Using an interview from Powell's self-described girlfriend, Johnna Baker, Larison indicated the relationship was "volatile." Wallace's defense attorney, Greg Coulson, questioned about a scar Baker had that she indicated came from Powell stabbing her.
Baker was hiding out from Powell at Chris Harris' house on the fateful morning after being away from Powell for a couple of days. In the basement, she heard Powell beating on the front door and a window breaking according to testimony by Larison.
From an interview conducted by KSP troopers, Wallace said that Powell was beating on the front door wanting to know where Baker was. Richie told him to go away. Powell went to a side window and when he was beating on it, the window broke. At that point, a Gamo Big Cat 1200 Air Rifle was used by Richie to shoot Powell. No one at the address called 911 about Powell who had grabbed his chest and was limping away crouched over.
According to Baker in her interview, she came upstairs to see Wallace hand a gun to Richie. At that point, Powell had already been shot. Both were joking that Powell was a "wimp" cause it was only a pellet gun that had shot him.
The Kentucky Medical Examiner had found during the autopsy that the pellet, recovered in a body cavitiy, had gone through Powell's heart.
In interviews with KSP, Wallace identified Richie as the shooter. Richie asked for a lawyer after being read his Miranda rights. Harris' had also indentified Richie as the shooter based on a conversation he had had with Richie.
Larison indicated the weapon has been sent off to the crime lab for testing and fingerprinting but the results were not yet available. He indicated that "There are instances they can match the pellet to the rifle but that is not always the case." The lab does have the pellet that was recovered from Powell's body.
Not home at the time of the shooting, Harris returned to his home to find the window broken. When he inquired into what happen to the window, Richie and Wallace told him about the incident. According to Trooper Larison, Harris said Richie told him he had shot Powell.
While Richie and Wallace face the manslaughter charges, Harris faces charges of tampering with physical evidence and hindering apprehension of a fugitive. According to Larison, Harris had returned the weapon used to shoot Powell back to the home of Nicole Ramsey on the same day. In his second interview with KSP, Harris admitted to knowledge of the weapon being used by Richie to shoot Powell according to Larison.
"Shame this incident happened. This should alert people that any gun can be a deadly weapon," said Pendleton County Attorney Stacey Sanning. She indicated that Richie and Wallace face manslaughter charges because they did not intend to kill to Powell.
"You cannot be shooting people for frivilous reasons," she added about the nature of guns in general. She was pleased that the judge agreed there was probable cause that a felony occurred in all three cases but emphasized that all three are presumed innocent.
By Kentucky law, Grand Jury has 60 days to indict defendants on charges or they are dismissed.
A full video of the preliminary hearing for Shawn Richie and Jason Wallace as well as a separate hearing for Chris Harris is available at www.falmouthoutlook.com under videos.