Attorneys in hit-and-run that killed Lexington police officer file motion for dismissal

Question police testimony, say prosecutors knew it was false

jhewlett@herald-leader.comNovember 6, 2010 

Glenn Doneghy

Attorneys for Glenn Doneghy, who is accused of murder in the death of Lexington police Officer Bryan Durman, have filed a motion seeking dismissal of the indictment against their client, claiming that a detective gave false testimony before the grand jury that indicted Doneghy and in a hearing on the case in Fayette District Court.

Attorneys Kate Dunn, Gayle Slaughter and Sally Wasielewski, in the motion filed this week, also say that prosecutors knew that the detective, David Richardson, gave false testimony before the grand jury. The attorneys accuse the Fayette County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office of prosecutorial misconduct.

Doneghy, 33, struck Durman, 27, with his sport-utility vehicle on North Limestone and then left the scene, according to police. The incident occurred about 10 p.m. April 29 as Durman investigated a noise complaint.

Richardson testified before the grand jury and earlier at a preliminary hearing in district court that a witness had said the only vehicle traveling down the one-way street at the time of the incident was the suspect vehicle, the attorneys say.

The detective then said in both hearings that the suspect vehicle deviated from its course of travel and struck Durman as he stood next to the vehicle he was investigating, the attorneys say in the motion.

But the witness, Ronnie Hood, was sitting on his porch, several doors down the street from where Durman was struck, and he told Richardson that the shrubs in front of his house blocked his view of the street, the attorneys say. Hood did not know anything had occurred until he heard a loud noise, which was the collision, they say.

"And from Mr. Hood's own lips Detective Richardson had knowledge during both times that he testified that Mr. Hood did not see the suspect vehicle traveling down Limestone, deviating from its current course of travel and striking Officer Durman," the motion says.

The motion says that had the grand jury not been told that the suspect vehicle deviated from its course and struck Durman, Doneghy might not have been indicted for murder.

The motion also maintains that when Doneghy's attorneys asked Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Lori Boling who the supposed witness was who saw the incident, Boling replied that there was no witness.

The defense attorneys maintain that false testimony was presented to the grand jury "in order to elevate the seriousness of what occurred in the case against Glenn Doneghy."

Fayette Circuit Court Judge James Ishmael on Thursday set a hearing on the motion for Nov. 12 to give prosecutors time to review it.

Reach Jennifer Hewlett at (859) 231-3308 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3308.

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