BENTON — Marshall Circuit Judge Dennis Foust ruled on several motions in the retrial of George Luna.
Luna was convicted in 2008 of the Sept. 2007 murder of Deborah Hendrickson. He was sentenced to life in prison, but the Kentucky Supreme Court overturned the conviction and ordered a new trial in November 2010. The court cited improper introduction of Hendrickson's pre-death statements as grounds for a retrial. The retrial has been scheduled for Jan. 7 in Trigg County, after Foust was unable to seat an impartial jury earlier this year in Marshall County.
In his first order, Foust will limit improper character evidence regarding the victim. He wrote in the order that the character evidence was based on a tenuous assertion that another suspect may have committed the crime. The ruling would be subject to the Commonwealth opening the door to such evidence during the trial.
Foust granted an order to the Commonwealth receiving reciprocal discovery to include a list of any individual who made a recorded statement about the case.
The third motion granted by Foust was a motion made by prosecutors to obtain Luna's medical records.
A fourth motion granted by Foust relates to allowing the Commonwealth to introduce civil judgments against Luna. Foust wrote he will allow the prosecution to introduce the judgments provided the judgments are a relevant part of the case.
In his final order, Foust said he will allow Luna to serve as his own defense co-counsel at trial. Foust wrote that he has found Luna sufficiently capable of serving in his defense, and waived any ineffective assistance of council claim. He will be allowed to address the court, but not in any matters that become repetitive. Foust will allow the co-counsels to divide the examination of witnesses, but not allow separate cross-examinations.