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September 21, 2012

HUNG JURY: Gilliam faces new trial

(Continued)

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Reconstructing the scene was difficult

A key element in the case was the angle of the gunshot that killed Larry Gilliam. The removal of some of the office furniture the day after Larry Gilliam’s death complicated the reconstruction efforts by experts. Ronnie Freels, a 33-year retiree from the Kentucky State Police who now consults with forensic cases, testified he brought in a mannequin to reconstruct the scene and do a trajectory analysis of the bullet’s path. Freels’ analysis showed Larry Gilliam “had to be bent over for the bullet path” to have penetrated the office’s closet door and the bullet lodged in the closet wall. This reconstruction was done on the assumption the closet door behind Lisa Gilliam’s receptionists’ desk was closed. Upon cross-examination by Norfleet, Freels admitted, “If the closet door wasn’t closed, all that changes.”

Financial woes could have been factor

The defense witnesses focused on Larry Gilliam’s personal and financial problems in the weeks prior to his death. According to the defense attorneys’ calculations, Gilliam was more than $500,000 in debt at the time of his death.

Pulaski County attorney Ryan Morrow testified he was appointed over Gilliam’s accounts after his death, including contacting current clients and making sure upcoming court dates had representation on the clients’ behalf. Morrow was the sole person, according to defense attorneys, who had access to Gilliam’s escrow accounts. Escrow accounts are overseen by attorneys when clients receive settlements on their cases from insurance and other agencies. According to Morrow’s testimony, with the “75 to 100” cases in Gilliam’s escrow accounts, approximately $57,998 should have been available. However, Morrow said his review revealed only $4,202 in the accounts. This action could have not only sent Larry Gilliam to jail, it could also have resulted in him being disbarred to practice law, costing him his source of income as well.

Larry Gilliam had also returned a packet for a potential bankruptcy case, owed $1,000 to his former wife’s attorney and had to pay $2,300 in alimony to his former wife, Coleen, by the end of the day on Jan. 7. In addition, he and Lisa had been arguing because Lisa had learned her husband was allegedly seeing Coleen again and she threatened to leave him.

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