Monday, August 15, 2016

Garr Keith Hardin; Jeffrey Clark: Kentucky: Major Development: Over the objections of Commonwealth’s Attorney David Michael Williams, Judge Bruce T. Butler set bail Monday morning at $50,000 for Hardin and Jeffrey Clark, whose convictions he vacated last month. The judge said they could be released if they posted 10 percent of it."..."Butler wrote in an order July 14 that he found no credible evidence that the murder of Rhonda Sue Warford, a Louisville woman whose body was dumped in a field, was motivated by Satanic worship. He also said newly available DNA testing shows that prosecutors and police erred in the pair’s 1995 trial when they said a hair found on Warford’s sweatpants was a “microscopic match” with Hardin."..."The Meade County sheriff and Louisville police turned their attention on Hardin after Warford’s mother told them she had been dating Hardin, that he was friends with Clark and that all three had been dabbled in Satanic practices. Police searched Hardin’s home and found a Satanic bible and other books as well as a washcloth soaked in blood that turned out to be Hardin’s. In his ruling last month, Butler said the DNA evidence also showed that then-Commonwealth’s Attorney Kenton Smith, who tried the case, was wrong when he told the jury that a broken cup seized from Hardin's bedroom was a "chalice" from which both defendants ritually sacrificed animals and drank their blood from it to enhance their standing with “Lucifer.” Smith had told the jury Hardin lied when he claimed he had cut his hand when he dropped a cup. The judge said the DNA tests showed that the blood was from Hardin, not an animal,and that Clark was telling the truth. The court also called into question the truthfulness of former Louisville Police Department Detective Mark Handy, who testified that Hardin told him during an interrogation that he had gotten “tired of looking at animals and began to want to do human sacrifices." Judge Butler said there was no evidence introduced at trial to support that, and that an internal Louisville police investigation found Handy engaged in misconduct in a different case when he falsely attributed incriminating statements to defendant Edwin Chandler in a murder for which he was convicted but later exonerated." Reporter Andrew Wolfson; The Courier-Journal;

STORY: "Pair in supposed Satanic murder to be freed" by reporter Andrew Wolfson, published by the Courier-Journal on August 15, 2016.

PHOTO-CAPTION:  "Inmates Garr Keith Hardin and Jeffrey Dewayne Clark wait for release after new DNA testing shows there was no 'credible evidence' that murder was motivated by Satanic worship. The two await a new trial."

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