Crime

Murder defendant says he fatally shot woman because she attacked him

Gambino August admitted to police he fired the shot that killed a woman New Year's Day because she was attacking him. However, when police asked August if he was injured during the attack, he said he was not.

August, 44, is charged with murder in the death of Natalie Liles, who was shot to death in an apartment on Continental Square off Eastland Parkway Jan. 1.

August called 911 just before 5 a.m. and waited at the scene until officers arrived, Detective David Richardson said at a preliminary hearing Friday in Fayette District Court. Richardson provided those new details about the case during Friday's hearing.

Officers went to the Continental Square Apartments to investigate a report that a woman had been shot. When officers arrived, August led them to Liles and told them he pulled the trigger.

He was taken to police headquarters to be interviewed. Meanwhile, Liles was taken to University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center, where she died from the gunshot wound.

Richardson interviewed August at headquarters. He said August admitted he shot the woman after she attacked him. August told Richardson about their relationship and the events that night.

He told the detective he and Liles had an on-and-off relationship and had lived together at one point. She had moved out, but the two were still friends, the detective said.

On New Year's Eve, Liles called August, and "he went and picked her up and they were hanging out for several hours," the detective said.

Early in the morning, the two got into an argument and began "pushing each other" throughout the apartment. The fight escalated and Liles began slapping and punching August, he said.

August then got a gun from under his bed, Richardson said.

"He chambered a round, pointed it at Ms. Liles and fired a shot," he said.

August told police he wasn't injured, though officers noticed some red marks on his neck and photographed them for evidence, Richardson said.

Blood tests and gun residue tests were not done on August, he said, and he wasn't sure if toxicology tests had been done on Liles. Crack cocaine was found in the apartment, he said.

After the hearing, Public Defender Chris Tracy said it was too early to tell if attorneys would argue August acted in self-defense. He said he couldn't make that judgment before he reviewed the evidence, which would not be given to the defense team until an indictment.

He said it was clear the events that morning were "out of character" for August.

"He is a very meek guy," Tracy said. "It's not the kind of thing you would normally expect in a case like this."

Fayette District Judge Julie Goodman waived August's case to the grand jury after hearing about five minutes of testimony from Richardson.

August is being held at the Fayette County jail without bond.

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