Murder suspect Preston T. Williams faced his second day of trial Wednesday, where lead prosecutor and Commonwealth’s Attorney for the 6th District Bruce Kuegel presented more witnesses and evidence to the 12-person jury.
Focusing on witness testimony from a medical standpoint, Kuegel called Dr. Christopher Kiefer, a medical examiner out of Madisonville, to the stand to discuss the cause and manner of Jerard Fountain’s death after Fountain was shot in the chest on Dec. 4, 2016.
Kiefer told the jury that in performing full exterior and interior autopsies on Fountain, the cause of death was determined to have been by a gunshot wound to the chest, while the manner of death had been determined a homicide.
Kiefer said the gunshot suffered by Fountain created two different wounds as the bullet was believed to have reentered the body after entering the lower chest, injuring Fountain’s liver, both lungs and heart, before exiting through the left armpit.
Williams’ defense attorney Pat Flaherty asked Kiefer whether the point of entry of said gunshot could have been consistent with Fountain’s arm being raised at the time of his being shot, alluding to the possibility that Fountain could have had his arm raised in the position of holding a gun when he himself was shot. As Williams was also shot during the events that occurred on Dec. 4, Flaherty’s interrogation of Fountain’s raised arm seemed to provoke the question, “If Williams did shoot Fountain that night, who shot first?”
According to Kiefer, Fountain’s arm being raised in such a position was indeed consistent with the gunshot wound he sustained. However, when Kuegel asked Kiefer whether Fountain’s raised arm could have indicated he was fleeing at the time he was shot, Kiefer said that Fountain’s gunshot wound was also consistent with a fleeing motion.
One of the issues facing Kuegel so far in this trial seems to be a lack of physical evidence — namely, fingerprints — as Owensboro Police Department Detective and Evidence Collection Technician Ken Bennett said no usable fingerprints were uncovered from the 9 millimeter handgun that OPD recovered from the scene of the shooting.
“No latent prints of value were found,” Bennett said of the four prints OPD was able to process.
However, Bennett said seven empty 9 millimeter shell casings were found at the scene along with the firearm. Bennett also submitted several articles of Williams’ clothing into evidence, saying a pair of the suspect’s shoes likely had blood on them.
The jury trial will continue into Thursday and possibly Friday, according to Chief Circuit Court Judge Jay Wethington.