November 6, 2012

Murder case sent to grand jury

Laurel man accused of stabbing girlfriend to death

By Nita Johnson
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — The man charged with stabbing his girlfriend to death last week will take his chances before a Laurel grand jury next month.

Family members of Pamela Honeycutt Bobbitt filled the first three rows of Laurel District Courtroom No. 201 Tuesday morning, awaiting to hear the fate of 34-year-old Sean Messer, who is charged with her murder.

Emotions were running high among family members of the slain 25-year-old mother of four as the hearing drew near. More than a dozen people gathered in front of the Laurel County Judicial Center and the Laurel County Detention Center for a demonstration bearing signs of “Justice for Pam.”

London Police Detective Allen Harris testified during Messer’s preliminary hearing, telling District Judge Wendell “Skip” Hammons that witnesses saw Messer attacking Bobbitt on the night of her death. The couple resided in Plantation Apartments on south U.S. 25. According to her father, Pamela Bobbitt rode to McDonald’s with her sister and Bobbitt’s two youngest children of whom the sister has custody. Bobbitt and Messer began arguing upon her return to the apartment.

“She was stabbed in the chest, on the wrist, the jaw and in the back,” Harris said.

Three people heard the argument and were present when the stabbing took place, Harris said. All three confirmed Messer was the one stabbing Bobbitt.

“She was taken to Saint Joseph London and pronounced dead by the Laurel County Coroner,” Harris told Judge Hammons.

Messer fled the scene of the stabbing but was captured several hours later when he attempted to steal Bobbitt’s car, which was being worked on at a nearby dealership.

Harris stated police recovered a bloody knife from the scene and it had been sent for lab tests and blood analysis. Detectives investigating the case also collected the clothing Messer was wearing at the time of his arrest, which also had blood on them.

When defense attorney Kelly Ridings from the Office of Public Advocacy questioned Harris about injuries to Messer from the alleged altercation, Harris said Messer had no apparent injuries, then recanted that statement.

“He did have a scrap on the leg,” Harris said, “but there were no apparent cut wounds on his hands.”

Harris testified Messer told police during initial questioning after his arrest the argument began because “Pam was seeing someone else and was going to leave for the night.”

Hammons then ruled that the testimony indicated a felony offense, citing ‘probable cause.’ He instructed Messer to appear in Laurel Circuit Court for possible indictment on Nov. 16.

While some family members of Bobbitt glared angrily at Messer, others wiped away tears during the hearing. Tensions ran even higher when Messer appeared to look at Bobbitt’s father as he left the courtroom, smiling slightly.

“Murderer!” cried out one of Bobbitt’s aunts as Messer was led from the courtroom back to the holding cell.

Messer remains in the Laurel County Detention Center under a $250,000 cash bond.