Saturday, May 11, 2002

Man charged in church shooting won't face death

The Associated Press

        HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. — Prosecutors won't seek the death penalty against a Christian County man charged in a shooting spree last year at a church where his estranged wife and another woman were killed.

        Commonwealth's Attorney Rick Boling said in a hearing in Christian Circuit Court on Wednesday that he wants life imprisonment for 35-year-old Fredrick Radford.

        Mr. Radford, who wasn't at the hearing, faces two counts of murder for the May 18, 2001, shooting deaths of Adrianne Nicole Radford, 25, and Mary Ann Turner, 47, at Greater Oak Missionary Baptist Church. The trial is scheduled for November.

        It might be hard to convince a jury that Mr. Radford, a former pastor in Madisonville, deserved the death penalty, Mr. Boling told the Kentucky New Era in Hopkinsville on Thursday. If convicted, Mr. Radford would have to serve at least 85 years before he's eligible for parole.

        “By eliminating the possibility of a death penalty, you reduce the issue of mitigation,” Mr. Boling said. “And for trial purposes, the commonwealth has the last word, not the defendant, who would otherwise get the last word, which can be persuasive.”

        During an evening revival service at the church, Mr. and Mrs. Radford walked outside to talk and then re-entered the church and sat in the front pew, police said. Police testified that he allegedly shot his estranged wife and then Ms. Turner, who apparently was trying to help Adrianne Radford.

        Court records indicate that Mr. Radford had allegedly threatened his wife more than three months before the shooting. She was seeking a divorce.


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