Friday, June 24, 2016

McMain to face grand jury July 12

The murder case of a Morganfield man in the vehicular death of a Sebree teenager will be heard by the Union County Grand Jury.​
The testimony presented in a preliminary hearing Thursday for Maxwell McMain was enough for Union District Court Judge Daniel Heady to send the case to the July 12 convening of the grand jury.​
McMain is charged with murder in the June 5 death of Kaci Wood, a 16-year-old who had just finished her sophomore year at Webster County High School.​
The court heard from one witness in the hearing, lead investigator for the Kentucky State Police, Detective Chris Baker.​
Baker recounted the progress of his investigation into the wreck that occurred at about 2:00 a.m. that Sunday morning. 

According to Baker, KSP responded to the 911 call made at 2:11 a.m., reporting the single-car crash. As the troopers worked the scene, they reported that McMain gave off a strong smell of alcohol, Baker said. The emergency medical technicians on site drew McMain’s blood at about 3 a.m., Baker added. 

Both McMain and Wood were ejected from the vehicle, according to initial reports during the investigation. Neither was wearing a seat belt. A third occupant of the vehicle, Jacob Hood, was wearing his seat belt and was not injured. 

Both McMain and Wood were transported to Union County Hospital. Wood was pronounced dead, and McMain was transported to Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, IN. 

The bulk of the testimony was concerned with interviews conducted by Baker during the course of the investigation. McMain’s attorney, Dax Womack, questioned Baker as to the timing of the interviews following the launch of the inquiry. 

Assistant Union County Attorney Julie Wallace objected, asking the relevance of the timing of the interviews, but Heady overruled her. 

Baker told Womack that he interviewed Hood the afternoon of June 5, about 14 hours after the wreck occurred. According to Baker, Hood told him he was a passenger in the front seat, but that he had fallen asleep before the crash. Baker added that Hood’s injuries were consistent with his statement. 

Womack pressed Baker on whether there was any further evidence that Hood was indeed the passenger. 

Baker responded that Hood had called the detective later in the evening of June 5, and added the three had stopped at a convenience store in Sebree after McMain and Hood had picked up Wood from a cemetery near her home. Baker said the video obtained from the store showed Hood exiting the vehicle from the passenger side, and later returning and getting back in the same seat. During the stop, McMain 
could be seen speaking with someone in the back seat. 

Womack asked if Hood had said they had made any more stops between the convenience store and the site of the wreck, and Baker said Hood did not report any more stops. 

Baker also pointed out that he had obtained the results of McMain’s blood alcohol test and that it registered at 0.116 percent, well above the legal limit. He also said the driving under the influence charge was McMain’s third. He was also charged with DUI in August of 2014 and December of 2015. 

Womack inquired as to whether an autopsy had been conducted on Wood. Baker said he had requested one but that the local coroner had said the state medical examiner’s office had been moved that weekend and no autopsies could be done. Womack asked if a toxicology had been completed on Wood, and Baker said yes but no results were yet available. 

Womack ended the hearing by moving for the wanton endangerment charge to be dropped, as the murder charge covered the same definition of offense. 

Wallace objected to the motion, since the wanton endangerment charge could apply to McMain’s second passenger, Hood. 

Womck then made another attempt to lower the $1 million bond on McMain, but Judge Heady refused the motion, as he considered McMain to still be a danger to himself and others. 

Other that the charges of murder, DUI and wanton endangerment, McMain also faces the offenses of driving on a DUI suspended license and failure to wear a seatbelt.

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