Matthew Patrick Donaghy pleaded not guilty to murder Tuesday in Lexington's first homicide case of 2015.
Attorney Joseph Buckles entered the plea on Donaghy's behalf in Fayette District Court, and Buckles indicated in court that he will request a mental health evaluation for the defendant. Buckles declined to comment outside the courtroom.
Donaghy is due back in court Jan. 28.
Donaghy, 20, is charged in the fatal stabbing of Todd Schumacher on Sunday night at a house on Lamont Drive in Lexington. Schumacher, 40, is identified as Donaghy's boyfriend in Lexington police documents filed with the district court.
Donaghy had previously been charged with mistreatment of an animal for allegedly putting Schumacher's dog in a hot oven in September. The animal suffered multiple burns, according to information filed in that case.
The stabbing occurred about 7:30 Sunday night. Police were called to the house and found Schumacher with multiple stab wounds. A second man also had injuries, police said.
Schumacher died at the scene.
Police later arrested Donaghy on the murder charge.
James Carie of Lexington, who was in the courtroom Tuesday, said he had known Schumacher about 12 years, but he thought he'd met Donaghy only once. He said he didn't know how long Donaghy and Schumacher had been together.
Carie said he and others who knew Schumacher "have been shocked and devastated."
"He was a good guy," Carier said. "He donated to a lot charity functions, and he was kind to everybody he saw. I never saw him disrespectful of anyone at all. He was a perfect gentleman.
"I just don't understand it. It makes no sense to me at all."
Carie said Schumacher's attacker "deserves what he gets."
"You never know what's going on until you actually see it," Carier said. "It's shocking."
Information filed in district court offers few details about the case.
A citation states only that Donaghy "obtained a dangerous instrument and assaulted the victim, resulting in death."
The attack on Schumacher's dog also occurred at 509 Lamont Drive, according to court records.
The dog was identified as "Monroe."
Donaghy admitted that he had put the dog in the oven "in a fit of rage," according to court documents.
Fayette District Judge Julie Muth Goodman had ordered Donaghy to receive a mental health assessment in that case.
He is to appear in district court on the animal treatment charge Friday morning.