By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — The man charged with killing his terminally ill wife was indicted by a Laurel grand jury on Friday.
Ernest Chris Chumbley, 48, of 40 Greenlawn Subdivision in London, now faces murder charges stemming from the August 28 shooting death of his wife, Virginia.
Chumbley himself called police after the shooting, telling them he shot his wife by her own request. Virginia Chumbley was suffering from cancer and was reportedly terminally ill with the disease.
Although he reported his wife asked him to end her suffering, Virginia Chumbley’s family disagreed. After his preliminary hearing earlier this month, Virginia’s mother and two sisters spoke out about the incident.
“He said she asked him to kill her and I don’t believe it,” her mother Rita Smith said after the hearing on Sept. 3. “She had three children and grandbabies to live for. She wanted to live.”
Smith added Ernest Chumbley had no right to end Virginia’s life, even though he reported she had asked him to do so. But Laurel County Sheriff’s Detective Charlie Loomis said during the preliminary hearing Chumbley said he and his wife had really never discussed, and certainly did not plan, any means of ending Virginia’s life.
“God was taking her in his own way,” Smith said. “He’s the only one that has the right to take a life. He (Chumbley) thought he was God that night, and I want every charge on that man to stick. Now let the justice system take his life. He’s up walking around while my baby’s laying in the ground.”
Chumbley has been held in the Laurel County Detention Center since his arrest on August 28. His bond remains set at $200,000 cash.