October 11, 2011

Gilliam wants change of venue: Cannot get fair trial in London

By Nita Johnson
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — The woman accused of shooting her attorney husband to death in January has requested her trial be moved to another county.

The motion to change venue was filed by Lisa Gilliam’s attorney, Robert E. Norfleet of Somerset, on Oct. 3. The motion states the trial should be changed due to Larry Gilliam being well known in the community of London and due to the publicity and continuing discussion of the case throughout the Laurel area. Norfleet attached several exhibits to confirm his motion, including three pages pulled from the London Topix where comments were being made concerning Larry Gilliam’s death. In addition, the statements of two local pastors supported their belief that Lisa Gilliam would not receive an impartial trial in Laurel County.

On the same day Norfleet also filed a motion to reduce Lisa Gilliam’s bond. Gilliam posted a $100,000 cash bond on Mar. 22 when she turned herself in to London City Police to answer a murder indictment by a Laurel grand jury on Mar. 18. Norfleet’s motion states that Gilliam posted the required bond following her arrest, that she has appeared for all court hearings since the indictment, that she has not been involved in any misconduct or disturbances since her release from jail, and that she does not pose a flight risk. Lisa Gilliam is scheduled to appear in Laurel Circuit Court on Nov. 16 to hear that motion.

Larry Gilliam was found in his office on the afternoon of Jan. 7, suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest.

He and his wife Lisa were the only people in the office at the time of the shooting, according to information from the London City Police. Lisa Gilliam told police her husband shot himself and she contacted 9-1-1 immediately after the shooting. Lisa Gilliam maintained her husband shot himself in a suicide attempt. Larry Gilliam was taken to Saint Joseph-London where he was pronounced dead within an hour after the shooting.

Information surrounding the investigation into Larry Gilliam’s death was kept quiet until Lisa Gilliam’s indictment in March. On her first court appearance, Lisa Gilliam’s attorney asked for Laurel Circuit Judge Greg Lay to recuse himself from the case, since Lisa Gilliam had previously worked as a parole and probation officer in Laurel County and because Larry Gilliam had practiced law in London for several years and had frequent interaction with Lay in the courtroom setting.

 Lay recused himself on May 19, postponing any action on Lisa Gilliams’ scheduled court date of May 23 until a special judge could be appointed.

On September 1, Lisa Gilliam entered a not guilty plea before Special Judge Robert McGinnis and a jury trial is scheduled for March 2012.