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Local News

May 2, 2014

Foley denied appeal

Convicted of killing six people in Laurel County between 1989 and 1991

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — A  man convicted of killing six people in Laurel County between 1989 and 1991 was denied his request to reopen his appeals case.

According the Associated Press, Robert Carl Foley, 57, claimed that he was denied a constitutional right during his appeals to his conviction and death sentence. Foley challenged his trial attorney’s handling of evidence in both ballistics evidence and potential expert testimony. The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the request on grounds that Foley did not prove his claim.

Foley, coined as the state’s “most prolific killer,” is awaiting execution on Kentucky’s Death Row for the 1989 murders of four people and the 1991 murders of brothers Rodney and Lynn Vaughn. His legal efforts to fight his conviction as well as other lawsuits have been common since his sentence of death in 1993. He remains on the state’s Death Row with 35 other inmates.

His trial in Laurel County in 1993 for the shooting deaths of the Vaughns came after witnesses told how Foley and Rodney Vaughn had a physical confrontation. Rodney Vaughn reportedly pointed a finger at Foley and warned him against hitting him again. Foley then knocked Vaughn to the floor and shot him six times, according to the prosecution in the trial. Foley claimed during his trial and in appeals cases that Rodney Vaughn drew a gun first, necessitating his claim of self-defense.

But, as Lynn Vaughn kneeled by his dying brother, Foley shot him in the back of the head, execution style, and kicked Rodney’s body with profanities because Rodney “caused me to have to kill my partner.”

The shootings sent other people in the residence on White Oak Road scattering, with only one other person remaining. Foley then reportedly forced the remaining witness to help him dispose of the Vaughn brothers’ bodies in a nearby creek.

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