Doneghy denied new trial in Lexington officer's death

Defense contended jurors' lunch break during deliberations violated law

cclaybourn@herald-leader.comAugust 11, 2011 

Sally Wasielewski, left, of the Doneghy defense team, talked with Glenn Doneghy after court ended for the day during the murder trial of Glenn Doneghy, right, who is charged with murder in the hit-and-run death of Lexington police officer Bryan J. Durman. Doneghy, 34, is accused of using his vehicle to deliberately hit and kill Durman photographed in court on Monday June 27, 2011 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Mark Cornelison | Staff

MARK CORNELISON | STAFF

A judge on Wednesday refused to grant a new trial for the man convicted of second-degree manslaughter in the hit-and-run death of Lexington police officer Bryan J. Durman.

In seeking a new trial, an attorney for Glenn Doneghy contended jurors were unlawfully allowed to walk freely around downtown Lexington during a lunch break after deliberations had begun, according to court records. Doneghy was charged with murder, but the jury found him guilty of manslaughter, a lesser crime, and other charges.

Sally Wasielewski, Doneghy's attorney, said her client probably would appeal Fayette Circuit Judge James Ishmael's decision.

"Rarely does a defendant not exercise their constitutional right to appeal," she said.

The jurors should have been kept in a group and accompanied by a court bailiff during the June 30 lunch break, according to the defense argument.

Wasielewski hadn't seen the ruling by late Wednesday but wasn't surprised to hear the judge rejected the request.

Ishmael is scheduled to sentence Doneghy on Aug. 26, according to court records. The jury recommended he serve 30 years in prison.

Doneghy remains at the Fayette County Detention Center.

Durman was 27 when he was struck on the night of April 29, 2010, on North Limestone while investigating a noise complaint. Prosecutors argued that Doneghy struck Durman intentionally.

In addition to manslaughter, Doneghy was convicted of assault, leaving the scene of an accident, and drug charges

Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Larson said Wednesday night that commenting would be inappropriate until after Doneghy is sentenced.

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