Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Local News

December 18, 2013

Surprises abound in manslaughter trial

(Continued)

Dec. 18, 2013 —

He said that both Cathey and co-defendant Rice had been brought to the police station for questioning before their arrests.

Rice, during a recorded interview with Steele, claimed that Toney had swung a knife at him and Cathey.

Steele said that Toney's family confirmed that he did carry a pocket knife that matched the description.

Both the neurosurgeon who treated Toney in the hospital and a state medical examiner testified that Toney died as a result of blunt force trauma.

Both also said that the trauma was covering the entire brain, which is consistent with the way the brain sits inside a skull.

A hit from one side could cause damage to the other side because of the brain rebounding off the inside of the skull.

“The brain was attempting to go down into the narrow opening of the spinal column because it was so swollen,” said Dr. Victoria Graham, the medical examiner who performed the autopsy. “It had nowhere else to go.”

Nechelle Burns of the state forensic laboratory, testified that no blood had been found on the boots of either Cathey or Rice, nor on the clothing of Rice and the knife found at the scene.

On Friday, Rice took the stand for testimony.

During his time in the witness chair, he stated that Cathey did not assault Toney on the night in question.

“I felt that Mr. Toney was a threat to me so I struck him,” Rice said. “He staggered and fell partly in the grass and partly near a drain in the road.”

Rice said he felt intimidated into testifying against Cathey as part of his plea agreement.

“They told me that if I didn’t testify that Mr. Cathey struck and kicked Mr. Toney that I would get six months added consecutively onto my sentence for contempt of court,” he said.

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