January 21, 2014

Two indicted on murder charges

By Nita Johnson
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — The December stabbing death of a Laurel man and the death of a woman from a November motor vehicle accident resulted in the indictments of two persons on Friday.

A Laurel grand jury returned an indictment against 25-year-old Hubert Dustin Lewis of Maple Street in Benham, Ky., for the December 12 stabbing death of Clinton Ray Howard.

Howard was lying in the kitchen floor of his mobile home on Campbell Road, dead from two cuts to his neck. A witness to the murder — and the person who called 9-1-1 — was present when Laurel County Sheriff’s officials arrived at the scene. The witness said Lewis had come into Howard’s bedroom and cut him with a knife. Laurel County Coroner Doug Bowling was called to the scene, where he pronounced Howard dead.

Lewis fled the scene after the stabbing, but contacted sheriff’s officials the next day and turned himself in to the Harlan County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies from Laurel County transported Lewis back to the Laurel County Detention Center where he remains incarcerated under a $250,000 cash bond.

During questioning regarding Howard’s death, Lewis allegedly told police he had thrown the knife away. A search of the area led to the discovery of the folding knife with an open blade less than two miles from the murder scene.

The second murder charge was returned against 35-year-old Cora M. Wilson, also known as Cora McGuire, of Sand Springs Drive in Mt. Vernon. Wilson is charged with murder, three counts of first-degree assault, and driving under the influence of intoxicants.

Although Wilson was instructed to appear in Laurel Circuit Court for possible indictment in February, her case was presented to this month’s Laurel grand jury.

Wilson was the driver of a 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix that was traveling east on Ky. 80, near the intersection of Ky. 1803, on Nov. 27 when she crossed the centerline and hit a 2006 Honda CR-V that was headed west. The impact of the head-on collision pinned both drivers and three passengers inside the vehicle in what emergency responders called the “worst” crash they had ever witnessed.

All five persons had to be extricated from the mangled metal of the two cars that were almost unrecognizable. Wilson, two teenage passengers and the driver of the Honda — 59-year-old Stanley Woods of London — were flown out from the scene by medical helicopters from Air Evac and PH-1 to the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington. Darlene Woods, 58, was transported from the scene to the London-Corbin Airport where she was taken to UK Medical Center in a Fixed Wing helicopter from Air Evac. The Fixed Wing model provides more stability in transport and flight than the other medical helicopters for severely injured patients.

Darlene Woods died 10 days later from injuries sustained in the crash that occurred the night before Thanksgiving.

Rain and snow during the next two weeks delayed a full-scale reconstruction of the accident site, but was done in mid-December. Deputy Larry Parrott, who investigated the accident, obtained copies of Wilson’s toxicology reports from the Emergency Room at UK Medical Center. The toxicology reports showed Wilson had numerous drugs in her system at the time of the accident. A warrant was obtained for Wilson’s arrest and she was taken into custody at her parents’ home in Laurel County on December 22. She  is held in the Laurel County Detention Center under a $500,000 cash bond.

An indictment is an accusation only and does not imply guilt or innocence.