Tribune-Courier News Editor
BENTON– Circuit Court Judge Dennis Foust rendered two orders last week in the retrial of accused killer George Luna. Luna’s attorneys had objected to statements made by the victim Debra Hendrickson, as well as the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office introduction of previous “bad acts.”
According to documents filed with the court, Special Commonwealth prosecutor Todd Lewis sought to introduce Luna’s involvement in fires at three of his previous residences, involvement in the burning of a 1995 Pontiac Firebird and the wreck of Hendrickson’s Chrysler in Calvert City. The allegations range from 2003 to 2007.
According to Foust’s order, evidence of the previous fires is admissable. On the issue of Luna’s involvement in wrecking Hendrickson’s vehicle, Foust said the court would “reserve ruling on this motion until it conducts a hearing on the forfeiture by wrongdoing exception.”
Likewise, Foust said the court will wait on what it will allow from statements made by Hendrickson to authorities.
According to Foust’s order, the Kentucky Supreme Court had already addressed the issue. As some of the statements were related to the wrecking of Hendrickson’s vehicle, their admissability will be determined after the forfeiture of wrongdoing exception hearing at a later date.
A status conference has been set for Jan. 27.
Luna was tried in 2008 in Marshall County and convicted of murder. A state supreme court ruling in November granted Luna a retrial. He was originally scheduled to be re-tried March 22, 2011. Defense attorneys successfully sought a six-month delay. The September trial date was also postponed by the defense.