The Richmond Register

Local News

February 28, 2013

Jury: Rearick not guilty of shooting former friend

RICHMOND — A Madison County jury found a Waco man not guilty of assault Thursday in the shooting of his former best friend at a 2011 reunion with other Army buddies.

Denver Rearick, 29, had been accused of either intentionally or wantonly firing a gun into Matthew Richie’s mouth. The four-day trial ended with the jury deliberating for two hours before delivering the not-guilty verdict.

Rearick showed little emotion as he helped his attorneys, Michael Eubanks and Jim Baechtold, gather files before quickly leaving the courtroom.

Richie, who survived the severe injury, was assisted from the courtroom by his mother. A small group of family and friends followed them out.

The trial focused on the events of Jan. 22, 2011, when Richie and Rearick gathered with two other former Army buddies at Rearick’s family’s home in Waco. The two men had formed a close bond while serving together at Fort Campbell and later during a yearlong Iraq deployment in 2005.

During the trial, the defense entered into evidence snapshots taken that night of the men posing with a variety of handguns. They were shown pointing the weapons at each other’s heads, and in one, Rearick had the barrel of a gun in his mouth.

Around 9:30 p.m., one of the guns went off, shooting Richie in the face. Rearick and Richie were alone in a living room when it occurred and there were no other witnesses.

Richie, who nearly died from a severed carotid artery, testified Wednesday. He stated the two men had been talking calmly when suddenly Rearick put him in a headlock, forced a gun in his mouth and said “How does that taste, (expletive)?” before firing the gun.

Richie said Rearick had been drunk and huffing nitrous oxide before the shooting.

However, Rearick testified that he had his back turned to Richie when he heard the pistol fire. When he turned around, he saw Richie falling to the ground with blood gushing from his eye, nose and mouth.

The defense maintained Richie had accidentally shot himself.

Richie suffered a stroke from the loss of blood to his brain and has permanent paralysis to the left side of his body. His mother, Wendy Richie, testified that she has quit her job as a teacher in order to care for her son.

Richie’s parents and friends took the stand during the trial, testifying that Rearick told different stories about what happened. At first, he insisted he didn’t know what happened, but later told people he may have shot his best friend, they said.

Rearick testified that he never told anyone he shot Richie.

One thing every witness agreed on was that the two men were incredibly close and never showed any animosity toward each other.

Another major factor in the trial was that the Kentucky State Police initially determined the shooting was accidental, and Rearick’s guns were returned to him four days later with no testing performed on them.

Other than photographs, no other evidence was collected by police at the scene of the shooting.

The investigating trooper, who was formally reprimanded for his handling of the case, also was unable to locate tapes of interviews he did with both Richie and Rearick after the shooting.

In his closing, defense attorney Mike Eubanks argued that there was no evidence, other than statements from people who weren’t at the scene that night, that Rearick fired a gun at his friend.

“Guilt beyond a reasonable doubt requires more than statements … it requires corroboration,” Eubanks said.

Matthew Richie and his parents have filed a civil lawsuit in Madison Circuit Court against Rearick and his parents, seeking compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, psychiatric care, care-giving costs, attorney fees and punitive damages.

That case is still ongoing.

Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@richmondregister.com or 624-6694.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 4-20 Shoulders-B.jpg Eggs fly at park

    Easter has probably never been so “eggstravagant” in Richmond as it was Saturday during the annual Eggstravaganza in Irvine-McDowell Park.
    For the first time, thousands of eggs were dropped, appropriately by an “eggbeater”-type helicopter, in addition to thousands of eggs already scattered on the grass below. Together, they numbered about 10,000, according to Erin Moore, Richmond Parks and Recreation director.

    April 20, 2014 12 Photos

  • City awaits funds for Water Street project

    Richmond city officials are still awaiting word on grant funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the Water Street drainage project.
    However, Mayor Jim Barnes said he is confident the money should come through by May 1.

    April 20, 2014

  • Kitcarson1.jpg Elementary schools built in ‘60s getting upgrades

    Renovation of three Madison County elementary schools built in Richmond during the 1960s will start this summer.
    The county school board voted Thursday to continue with the second phase of state paperwork required for the projects.
    With a target completion date of August 2015, renovations and alterations at Daniel Boone, Kit Carson and White Hall elementary schools are estimated to cost almost $12 million.

    April 20, 2014 9 Photos

  • KY 52 link to I-75 to be discussed May 13

    While a proposed link from Nicholasville to Exit 95 on Interstate 75 north of Richmond has garnered attention and organized opposition, the state also is developing plans to link I-75 to another community to the west.

    April 20, 2014

  • May 30 last school day for students

    After 16 snows days and two weather delays this winter, the Madison County School Board decided Thursday to end the school year on Friday, May 30.

    April 19, 2014

  • 4-19 TechExtra1.jpg Students showcase projects in Technology Extravaganza

    Madison County School students showed off just how tech savvy they can be during the district’s sixth annual Technology Extravaganza on Thursday at Madison Central High School. After the showcase, more than 350 students were honored for their work.

    April 19, 2014 7 Photos

  • 4-19 SchoolBoardJesseWard.jpg Ward honored for service; tech center named after him

    Retired Madison County educator Jesse Ward was recognized Thursday for his many years of service. To honor him, Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the board’s decision to rename the district’s technology training center on North Second Street in Richmond the Jesse P. Ward Technology and Training Center.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 Brian Smith.jpg Berea man indicted on 24 child porn counts

    A Madison grand jury has indicted a Berea man on 24 counts related to child pornography.

    Brian J. Smith, 26, is charged with four counts of distribution and 20 counts of possession of matter portraying sexual performances by a minor.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 Gregory Powell.jpg Police apprehend burglary suspect

    An observant witness was able to help Richmond police catch a burglary suspect shortly after a break-in Thursday afternoon on Savanna Drive off Berea Road.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-18 PackTrack1a.jpg Walkers, runners of every age ‘Pack the Track’

    Waco Elementary and Model Laboratory schools students raised more than $8,000 (and counting) for the annual Pack the Track event at Eastern Kentucky University’s Tom Samuels Track Thursday, said Kim DeCoste of the Madison County Diabetes Coalition.

    April 18, 2014 14 Photos

AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should Richmond rezone the southwest corner of Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue to B-1 (Neighborhood Business) with restrictions to allow construction of a financial services office?

Yes
No
     View Results