Russ Ashley: four questions to ask before making an arrest | Editorial

In a district court in Lexington, September 5, 2018, the jury accepted the prosecution’s account of video evidence as the eyewitnesses to the homicide of Washington Arbery.

Evidence in this case, identified by the lead detective as video evidence, is described below:

Hired Answering machine video in which the victim Washington Arbery is shown in a garage with associates. The images revealed that Arbery’s head is covered by a ski mask, and a pillbox hat. Arbery’s foot is partly buried in a picnic table in the cellar of a property by the street.

The video displayed at trial is of two individuals, Marcus Travis “Chris” Hall and Randy “Cross” Hulbert. The video is consistent with a group of associates, living in the small town of Blevinsboro, in Laurel County, that frequented the neighborhood and had social contacts with Arbery. The defendant Randy Hulbert is now deceased.

Based on examination of multiple cell-phone records, the prosecution noted the date and time of the killing at 6:03 p.m. on Saturday, September 29, 2012.

The killing occurred in the vicinity of Woodrow Road and South Stride Road. According to witness testimony, several hours earlier at 1:00 p.m., a trailer was occupied by Eric Arbery and two females at a construction site on Woodrow Road. The trailer occupant identified the killer in this case as a coworker of the deceased’s father in law, specifically Russell “Bubba” Wess. The female victim is again described by witnesses as wearing a mask and a ski mask. The women were visiting the Arbery family for a deer hunting trip.

The victims left for the hunting trip at 5:00 p.m. Police were alerted about the crime at approximately 8:00 p.m. when police officers were dispatched to a disturbance at a residence on Woodrow Road. There a witness reported seeing a group of people outside of his window.

The prosecution alleges that the bodies of Russell Arbery and his daughter-in-law were loaded into a truck and driven about 12 miles to the location in central Kentucky where the body of Washington Arbery was discovered. The defendant’s vehicle was found parked at a construction site on Woodrow Road. He reportedly stated that he was returning to Louisville. Two of the female victims, including the female victim who was wearing a mask, reported they last saw Washington Arbery alive at approximately 3:00 p.m.

Police were subsequently notified by local 911 centers that two young children, ages 3 and 4, had gone missing in that same area. On Monday, September 30, 2012, the bodies of Russell Arbery and his daughter-in-law were found.

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