The trial of a man accused of murder entered its second day Wednesday in Harlan Circuit Court.
Robert Curry, 40, was arrested by Kentucky State Police over a year ago on charges stemming from the death of Bruce Penix.
Curry is charged with murder, second-degree disorderly conduct, menacing and resisting arrest.
Special Judge David Williams presided over the proceedings with Commonwealth’s Attorney Parker Boggs and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorneys Karen Davenport and Jonathon Lee representing the state.
Kentucky State Police Trooper Mike Cornett, who was a detective at the time of the incident and investigated the case, resumed testimony Wednesday morning.
Under cross examination by Curry’s attorney Doug Asher, Cornett testified hairs found in Curry’s hand could not be matched to Penix. Cornett said the hairs were broken and did not contain the root, which is necessary for a match.
Cornett said that since the hair could have come from another source, it had no bearing on the case.
According to Cornett’s testimony, no hair or DNA samples were taken from any other individual other than Curry.
Boggs called Jessica A. Copeland, a specialist from the Eastern Regional Forensic Laboratory in Ashland, to testify as an expert witness.
Copeland testified that a pair of size 11 Nike basketball shoes worn by Curry had been tested against bloody impressions found on the floor tile at the scene.
Copeland stated there was a partial print match to the left shoe.
According to Copeland, since there were no unique features present on the shoe such as gauges, nicks or other such unique flaws in the soles of the shoes, no further match could be made.
Copeland further stated that other shoes of that same make and model would leave a similar print, so she could not definitely match Curry’s shoe to the print.
Kentucky State Police Sgt. Jackie Pickrell verified while on the stand that photographs of Curry entered into evidence by the state showed Curry’s hands swollen and his knuckles bruised. Pickrell also identified pictures of Curry’s socks and shoes with blood on them.
Asher asked Pickrell if it was possible the blood could have gotten on Curry because he walked through it.
“I think it would be highly unlikely he could get much blood on him just walking through,” answered Pickrell.
Davenport questioned Johnny Anderson, the man who placed the original 911 call, about his involvement.
Anderson testified he was at Penix’s home the night before Penix was found, and left at approximately 10:50 p.m. because Penix and Curry were drinking.
“I don’t like drinking,” said Anderson.
Anderson said he returned to Penix’s home the next morning and found Penix dead on the floor and Curry on the floor next to the couch. Anderson stated he touched the victim and found him cold.
Anderson said he saw Curry get up and move to the couch.
Anderson testified under cross examination he spent the night in a truck nearby before returning to Penix’s home the next day to clean up.
Anderson said he was homeless at the time.
Anderson is set to continue his testimony when the trial resumes at 8:30 a.m. today.
Joe P. Asher may be reached at 606-573-4510, ext. 113, or on Twitter @joe_hde