The Richmond Register

Local News

February 12, 2013

Defendant weeps as attorney recounts his asking police to kill him

Had doused himself and girlfriend’s home in gasoline

MADISON COUNTY — The trial of a Richmond man accused of soaking his girlfriend’s house in gasoline, destroying her belongings and menacing police officers with knives began Monday in Madison Circuit Court.

Wayne Irvine, 51, faces six counts in connection with an incident last year on Fairview Court:

• Attempted second-degree arson

• First-degree criminal mischief

• Two counts of menacing

• Violation of a domestic violence order

• Second-degree disorderly conduct..

The most serious charge is attempted arson, a Class C felony that carries a possible sentence of five to 10 years in prison.

In his opening statement, public advocate Brian Barker painted Irvine as an ill and troubled man making a desperate cry for help.

Irvine openly wept as Barker described how his client had begged Richmond police officers to shoot and kill him that day. Barker told the jury that Irvine suffers from diabetes and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Was he breaking the law or just breaking down?” Barker asked.

However, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Smith told the jury that Irvine was an angry, verbally abusive partner who is still responsible for his actions regardless of his possible mental instability.

Although Irvine’s girlfriend, Melissa Bowling, had let him back into her home, he was still in violation of a November 2011 domestic violence order forbidding him to have contact with her, Smith pointed out.

“You’re going to learn he was in a place he shouldn’t have been, doing something he shouldn’t have been doing,” Smith said. “He got himself in a world of trouble.”



Witness testimony

The first witness, RPD Officer Zachary Harris, testified about what happened at the Bowling home on April 17.

Bowling was at work in Frankfort when she called 911 and asked an officer to do a welfare check on Irvine. Harris went to the house but was unable to find anyone there, he testified.

Later that day, at 7:14 p.m., a 911 dispatcher received another call from Bowling. She said Irvine was threatening to kill her.

Harris went back to the Fairview Court home with Officer Lydia Douglas. When Douglas knocked on the door, Irvine opened it.

Harris was covering the back door when he heard Douglas yelling, and he ran to the front of the house to see Irvine holding up two knives while he stood in the door’s threshold.

“He appeared to be a daze,” and he was talking in unintelligible, broken sentences, Harris said. Harris drew and fired his Tazer, but Irvine managed to slam the door before both hooks made contact with his skin.

Harris said he could hear Irvine inside the home, yelling and causing a commotion. Police officers were able to talk Irvine into coming out of the home after about an hour, and when he came outside, he was covered in gasoline, Harris said.

Bowling and her daughter were not in the home during the standoff, Harris testified.

Claims adjuster Jeff Evans, who works for the company that insured Bowling’s home, testified as pictures depicting the home’s interior damage were shown to the jury.

Most of the home had to be repainted and the carpets replaced because gasoline that had been poured throughout the house, Evans said. Two computers, a TV, several pieces of furniture and a mattress had to be replaced because they were destroyed or soaked in gas.

In all, the insurance company paid Bowling nearly $14,000 to repair her home and replace her damaged belongings, Evans testified.

Testimony ended at 4:45 p.m. Monday and is scheduled to resume today at 9 a.m. The trial is expected to last two days, according to Logue.

Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@richmondregister.com

or at 624-6694.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Berea utility doubles solar farm, again

    Berea Municipal Utilities started its solar farm in October 2011 with 60 panels. In less that five days, all were leased.
    Another 60, which became operational in June 2012, were leased in less than four months.
    Now, the farm again has doubled, with the addition of 126 panels that are ready for leasing, said Steve Boyce, a retired Berea College professor who has been involved with the program since its inception.

    July 30, 2014

  • Miss Madison Winners 2.jpg My fair ladies

      

    July 29, 2014 5 Photos

  • 10th Quilt Extravaganza is Friday, Saturday

    Displays of quilts by men, baby quilts, the Grandmother’s Flower Garden pattern, an exhibit of feed sack fabric, ongoing demonstrations, and a vendors market are features of the 10th Berea Quilt Extravaganza Friday and Saturday at Berea Community School off Ellipse Street.

    July 29, 2014

  • 7-30 Samantha Frederick.jpg RPD: Heroin sales lead to trafficking indictment

    Executing a warrant issued after Samantha Frederick, 29, Northgate Drive, was indicted July 16 by a Madison County grand jury, Richmond Police arrested her Monday on drug trafficking charges.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29 YMCA-Schools.jpg YMCA, county district to provide after-school care

    The Telford YMCA is partnering with the Madison County School District to provide after-school child care for kindergarten and elementary students.
    YMCA Executive Director Dave Wallace and Madison County School Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the partnership Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29 Lucille May 1.jpg Memories bloom in May’s garden

    After realizing a story was being written about 96-year-old Lucille May, tenants of Willis Manor gathered in the lobby to share stories about her.
    Affectionately called “Mamaw” by other residents and workers at the apartment building, May has spent the four years of her residence transforming an outdoor garden that was overtaken by weeds. It’s now a thriving flowerbed, complete with interesting rocks, decorations and conversation.

    July 29, 2014 4 Photos

  • 7-29 Construction 1.jpg Water Street storm-water digging begins

    Caisson holes were drilled and then filled with concrete and steel poles Monday to create a retaining structure to shore up the Allstate Insurance building foundations' firm when excavation for the Water Street Stormwater Improvement Project begins.
    Digging for 20 ton, 6 by 7 foot concrete box culverts will begin today, if weather permits, said Jason Hart, Richmond’s director of Planning and Zoning. The culverts will help reduce the likelihood of flooding on Water Street by carrying storm water under Main Street, the CVS parking lot and Irvine Street to a stream, he said.

    July 28, 2014 4 Photos

  • 7-29 Robert Abney.jpg RPD: Bottle bomb injures man, damages neighbor’s home

    Richmond Police on Friday charged Robert Abney, 30, of Moberly Avenue, in connection with a May 30 explosion that injured Abney and damaged a neighbor’s home.
    Officers were dispatched May 30 to a residence in the 500 block of Moberly Avenue to investigate the report of an explosion.
    They found the remains of a plastic bottle bomb near a residence adjoining Moberly’s, according to an RPD news release. A wall of the occupied home was smoldering and grass was burned in the area, it added.

    July 28, 2014 4 Photos

  • 7-29 Steven Coffey.jpg Two led police on I-75 chase from Berea

    Berea Police found a man passed out and intoxicated inside his crashed vehicle on Interstate 75 Wednesday, according to a police report.
    Steven Coffey, 34, of Berea, had slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet when officers arrived at the vehicle, the police report stated. They determined he was under the influence of drugs, the report stated.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-27 HeartChase 1.jpg A race to the finish line

    Sheltered by overcast sky and supported by a cool breeze, teams competed Saturday morning in the second annual HeartChase at Richmond Centre.

    July 26, 2014 6 Photos