LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Despite defense attorneys’ request to dismiss or amend the murder charge against Ernest Chris Chumbley, a Laurel District Judge upheld both the murder charge and the $200,000 cash bond for the man accused of killing his terminally ill wife last week.
A Laurel grand jury will now hear evidence surrounding the shooting death of 44-year-old Virginia Chumbley and her husband who is charged with her murder.
Chumbley turned around frequently to look back at his children and other family members during the hearing, sometimes leaning over to confer with his attorney, Paul Croley. In the meantime, his other attorney, Conrad Cessna, questioned investigators who came to the scene of the tragic incident that is being coined as “the mercy killing.”
Laurel Sheriff’s Detective Charlie Loomis testified before the court of the events leading to Ernest Chumbley’s arrest for fatally shooting his wife on Aug. 28. Loomis said Virginia Chumbley had been shot three times while lying in her bed.
Loomis testified Virginia Chumbley was lying in a “normal position” with her body straight and her head turned toward the right. She was wearing a shirt and her head was exposed above the covers of the bed when officers arrived at the scene following Ernest Chumbley’s call to 9-1-1 of the shooting.
Loomis said there were no signs of a struggle although he did say that he “really had to look over to see the third shot.”
Chumbley admitted shooting his wife of 22 years, telling police that she had asked him to perform the act and end her suffering.
“She had cancer. The way I understand it, all based on the preliminary autopsy, she had brain polyps, which is cancer, and in the liver,” Loomis testified. “It was obvious she had had chemo.”
Loomis said he saw no evidence that Hospice was involved with Virginia Chumbley’s health care nor was there any evidence that any home health agency was involved.