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
  • Legislature passes road-spending plan

    Kentucky House and Senate lawmakers agreed Tuesday to a $4.1 billion road-spending plan on the legislature’s final day, avoiding an expensive special session.
    The plan includes $5.2 billion worth of projects throughout the state. But as much as 25 percent of that money will not be spent. Lawmakers said they would like to include a cushion in case some projects are delayed because of environmental concerns or problems acquiring land.

    April 16, 2014

  • 4-16 CMMShealthfair5.jpg Health fairs cover contemporary teenage topics

    Berea Community High School health students coordinated their first all-day health fair in November that was catered to elementary students.

    But their spring fair Monday handled more mature issues that targeted the middle and high school crowd, said health teacher Cathy Jones.

    April 16, 2014 13 Photos

  • 4-16 Lisa Begley.jpg Police: Woman drove through storage business gate

    Richmond police arrested a Lexington woman Monday night after the property manager at Main Street Storage said she repeatedly drove her vehicle into a gate and fence at the 455 E. Main St. business.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local jobless rate for 2013 same as 2012

    Madison was one of 12 Kentucky counties with a 2013 jobless rate unchanged from the previous year, according to statistics released Tuesday.

    Still, only four counties – Woodford, 6.1; Fayette and Oldham, 6.5; and Scott, 6.7 – had jobless rates better than Madison’s 6.8 percent.

    April 16, 2014

  • Danville officials table fairness ordinance

    City officials in Danville have tabled an anti-discrimination proposal.
    The Advocate-Messenger reports that the move on Monday came after questions were raised about its legality and suggestions were made for changes.

    April 15, 2014

  • Grimes outpaces McConnell in first quarter

    Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes has again outpaced her likely Republican general election opponent, incumbent Mitch McConnell, in fundraising during the first quarter — but she remains well behind McConnell in total fundraising and cash on hand.

    April 15, 2014

  • $250,000 wrecker stolen

    A representative of Barger’s Wrecking Service, North Porter Drive, reported to Richmond police Sunday that a black, 1996 Peterbilt wrecker with company logos on it was stolen from the business’ parking lot. The wrecker is valued at $250,000, according to the police report.

    April 15, 2014

  • Owner requests business zoning for corner of West Main and Tates Creek

    The owner of three lots at the corner of West Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue wants the property rezoned from R-1B (Single-family Residential) to B-1 (Neighborhood Business).

    April 14, 2014

  • Regents approve smoke-free campus policy

    The Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents on Monday approved a tobacco-free campus policy and set 2014-15 rates for tuition, housing and meal plans.

    Effective June 1, the use of tobacco on all property that is owned, leased, occupied or controlled by the university will be prohibited.

    April 14, 2014

  • 4.15 Eggstravaganza 1.jpg Easter bunny's ‛eggbeater’ will fly eggs to Richmond

    Who knew the Easter bunny could fly?

    Skeptics can come to the Easter Eggstravaganza in Richmond’s Irvine-McDowell Park on Saturday to see for themselves. However, the bunny still doesn’t fly in bad weather. But on Monday, temperatures in the 60s with partly cloudy skies were predicted for Saturday.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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

Should the Richmond City Commission stop rezoning property to allow construction of apartments?

Yes.
No
     View Results