Jury begins deliberations in trial on police chief’s slaying
By Ashlee Clark
Jury deliberations began about 11:40 a.m. Tuesday in the capital murder trial of James H. “Jamie” Barnett who is accused of killing Clay City police chief Randy Lacy.
The defense called its last witness to the stand, and then both sides presented closing arguments.
In closing arguments Tuesday, defense attorney Marcus Jones acknowledged that his client shot Lacy, but blamed Barnett’s actions on the drugs and alcohol that were in his system.
On June 13, 2007, Lacy arrested Barnett on suspicion of drunken driving. Lacy, a 22-year law enforcement veteran, had handcuffed Barnett with his hands in front of him — something he often did for suspects with whom he was familiar, witnesses have testified. Police said Barnett, who was in the back seat of the cruiser, apparently grabbed a spare handgun of Lacy’s and shot him through the barrier between the front and back seats.
Officers said Barnett told them he had taken Xanax and Percocet pills, had drunk a fifth of whiskey and had shot up cocaine the day of the shooting. He was so intoxicated that he had to be taken to a local hospital before he was admitted to jail.
Barnett did not have the “cold, sober, deliberate mind” of someone who was not intoxicated, Jones said.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Darrell Herald said in his closing arguments that Barnett was sober enough to realize he had done something wrong the day Lacy was shot, because Barnett tried to escape and he asked about Lacy’s condition on his way to Montgomery County jail. Witnesses have testified that they saw a handcuffed Barnett kick out the back window of Lacy’s cruiser, crawl out and attempted to jog away. Kentucky State Police Trooper Britt Rollins, who helped escort Barnett to the Montgomery County jail, said Barnett kept asking about Lacy’s condition. When Barnett was told Lacy was dead, he said, “I shot Big Randy; I’m going to die,” Rollins testified.
The jury can choose to find Barnett not guilty or guilty of intentional murder, second-degree manslaughter or, if they believe he was drunk and high, wanton murder. He also faces charges of escape for leaving the cruiser and theft for taking Lacy’s spare weapon. Barnett could face the death penalty if convicted.