AURORA — Marshall County Sheriff Kevin Byars says his office is awaiting final results of an autopsy to determine the cause of death of 39-year old Howard J. “Joe” Baier of Aurora before deciding whether to turn the case over to a grand jury.
Preliminary results from the state medical examiner indicate asphyxiation as the cause of death. Byars said a final report could take a month.
Police were called to the scene of a disturbance in the 1100 block of Union Ridge Road last Wednesday night at around 9:50 p.m. Upon arrival deputies and Byars discovered Baier on the ground. EMS was notified and upon arrival they determined that he was deceased.
Detectives responded and their investigation revealed that Baier had been on the property and a physical altercation ensued with the property owner, Jimmy Lynn Filbeck, 51, Aurora. Investigators believe no weapons were used in the altercation.
Baier was transported by the Marshall County Coroner’s Office to Louisville for autopsy. Detectives accompanied them for the exam and final results are pending. Pending this final report, the matter will be presented to the grand jury at a date to be determined.
“We had just gotten home from church,” Union Road resident Lavada Garner said. “We saw one blue light and what I thought might have been an ambulance. I feel like this is a safe place to live. This is a nice neighborhood.”
Chief Deputy David Maddox said he anticipated no charges unless the autopsy report deemed it appropriate, or the grand jury indicted Filbeck for an offense. He indicated Filbeck and Baier were not acquainted, but did know one another.
Sheriff Kevin Byars late last week referred to The Castle Doctrine, which under KRS.503.080 gives property owners the right to defend themselves and their property in Kentucky as a possible reason for the altercation. He failed to elaborate further, pending the outcome of the autopsy and investigation.
Police were back on the scene of the altercation Thursday night, as reports of people yelling from vehicles and squealing tires in front of the Filbeck home were made to the sheriff’s office.