FLEMINGSBURG n Both the defense and the prosecution rested on the first day of the trial of a Fleming County man on charges of wanton endangerment.
Roy I. Pollard Jr. is facing charges stemming from an alleged incident which occurred Dec. 3 2007, in which he is accused of pulling a gun and threatening Eric Thompson, Bonnie Butler and others at Eric Thompson’s residence on Sugarcreek Road. Butler, who is Pollard’s former girlfriend and the mother of his children, was dating Eric Thompson’s younger brother, Jason.
Pollard is also facing charges of murder in the shooting deaths of Jason Thompson and his aunt Willa Thompson in January 2008. Following Pollard's indictment on the murder charges, Pollard’s attorney Tom Griffiths, directing attorney for the Department of Public Advocacy, filed and was granted a motion asking for separate trials on the charges.
According to testimony given Monday by Eric Thompson, Pollard came to his residence “without invitation” and requested to see Bonnie Butler. Eric Thompson said he told Pollard Butler wasn’t there.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Kathryn Hendrickson asked Eric Thompson if Pollard had permission to be there, to which Eric Thompson replied “No, he did not.” Eric Thompson told Pollard to leave his residence which Pollard responded to by “pulling out and pointing a shotgun at me and threatening to kill me,” he said.
Thompson testified he retrieved a gun of his own and “kept Pollard in his sights.” Thompson said as Pollard was leaving, he lost control of his car and it went “over a bank and into the creek.”
Under cross-examination by Griffiths, Eric Thompson clarified his testimony. When asked by Griffiths if he shot at Pollard, Eric Thompson said “if I fired at Mr. Pollard, he wouldn’t be sitting here today.”
Hendrickson then called Billy Riley to the stand. Riley testified he was at the residence the night in question and also testified he was “a friend of Roy Pollard.”
According to Riley, Pollard “showed up uninvited. Eric asked him nicely to leave at which point I saw Roy grab with his right hand a shotgun. Eric ran back from the car, yelling "He’s got a gun" and said "Someone get me my gun." I went in and got Eric’s gun and when I brought it back outside, Roy’s car was already in the ditch.”
Under cross-examination, Riley said Jason Thompson and Butler remained inside the residence at the time of the alleged incident. Riley also admitted to not wanting to be involved and asking “everyone to tell the cops that I wasn’t involved.” Riley also said he “didn’t remember any shots being fired.”
Riley confirmed his testimony about giving Eric Thompson the gun during cross-examination. Griffiths pointed out to Riley that his testimony contradicted Thompson’s earlier testimony. Riley said he was telling exactly what happened and how he remembered it.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Gary Adkins questioned Butler during her testimony following Riley.
Butler said she had dated Pollard for “about 13 years.” Butler also stated that in August 2007, she filed an EPO against Pollard which he requested be amended in September 2007 in order for him to have visitation rights to his children.
Butler said she never saw Pollard on the night in question but heard and recognized his voice when he was outside.
“I only went outside when the cops showed up.” Butler testified. She also said she did not hear any gunfire.
Under Griffiths’ cross-examination, Butler said she didn’t hear any gunfire but had been told “after the incident” that a gun had been fired. She confirmed Riley’s earlier testimony that Jason Thompson never went outside during the alleged incident.
Butler contradicted Riley’s earlier testimony when she was asked who went inside to get the gun. She responded that she saw “Eric come in and get a gun.”
The last witness to be called was former Fleming County Deputy Sheriff John Catron who was one of the responding officers to the alleged incident.
Under examination by Atkins, Catron said the call came in at 11:28 p.m., on the night of Dec. 3 and he was on scene at 12:02 a.m., Dec. 4. Catron testified he only spoke to Eric Thompson and Bonnie Butler at the scene.
According to Catron, he and Kentucky State Police Trooper Chris Burton secured the car when they first arrived on scene and “did a quick search of the area.” Catron said he found an unfired shotgun shell in the vehicle but did not collect it for evidence as well as registration documents for the vehicle. According to Catron, the vehicle was registered to Michael Atkins.
After photos of the scene were entered into evidence by the prosecution, Griffiths cross-examined Catron. Catron testified to only talking to Butler and Eric Thompson but also said it was “possible that others were there I didn’t speak to.”
Griffiths questioned Catron on whether Eric Thompson’s testimony varied from his initial statement to authorities. Catron said he “remembered Thompson having a gun after the fact of the crime.”
Griffiths questioned Catron on the power of the light pole in the driveway as to how well it would light up the area. Catron said “the light would get weaker the further you drive from the pole.” Griffiths clarified that someone further away in a vehicle could see someone under that light pointing a weapon at them, to which Catron replied “Yes, that is correct.”
The prosecution rested its case after the testimony of Catron. Griffiths and the defense rested its case without calling any witnesses, including Pollard.
When asked for comment, Hendrickson said “I will be happy to comment once the jury has rendered a verdict in the case.”
Griffiths indicated the conflicting testimonies leave questions on the incidents in question.
“Every prosecution witness offered a completely different version of the alleged events on the night of Dec. 3, 2007. They can’t be all right and accurate.”
Closing arguments are scheduled for today at 9 a.m. in the Fleming County Courthouse followed by jury deliberation.
Contact Todd Curtis at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 606-564-9091, ext. 272.