Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Local News

December 18, 2013

Surprises abound in manslaughter trial

(Continued)

Dec. 18, 2013 —

Upon cross examination by defense attorney Brain Hewlett, it was revealed that although Couvertier claimed during testimony and during her initial interview with police that she didn't know who had dealt the second kick, she had told Commonwealth's Attorney Brandon Ison that she believed that Rice had been the second kicker.

Rice took a plea bargain in February in exchange for his testimony against Cathey in this case.

Grayson Police Sgt. Tony Cantrell testified to his observations as the first officer on the scene.

Cantrell said that while on scene, dispatch told him that Cathey had called 911 and asked to speak with an officer. Cantrell said he took a statement from Cathey after he cleared the scene.

Cathey said in his statement that he and Rice had encountered a couple fighting on the street. When he approached them, according to the statement, the man, presumably Toney, pulled a knife out. Cathey stated that Rice hit the man and they ran away.

When court resumed on Thursday, Cathey rejected a last minute plea agreement offered by the Commonwealth's Attorney.

“I do not allow offers to be made during the course of a trial under normal circumstances,” Judge Rebecca Phillips said. “However, it seems the offer has already been presented to Mr. Cathey.”

Ison told the court that he offered Cathey 10 years and dismissal of the persistent felony offender charge if he were to plead guilty.

Cathey declined the offer, which was the same counter offer that Ison had rejected earlier in the pretrial process.

Grayson Police Det. Sgt. Travis Steele was the lead officer on the case and the first witness to take the stand on Thursday.

Steele testified that he found a pocket knife on the scene several hours after the incident but that the scene was never secure.

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