Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Man says he witnessed attack at WKU



By Lori Burling
The Associated Press

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - A man told police he witnessed the attack on a Western Kentucky University student found burned and stabbed in her dorm room, according to an arrest citation.

The citation, which supported Sunday's arrest of Lucas Goodrum on a murder charge, said the unidentified man told police he watched Goodrum carry out the attack on Katie Autry, who died three days later.

The "eyewitness stated that on (May 4), he observed Lucas Goodrum rape, beat and set on fire the body of Melissa K. Autry in Room 214," said the citation, which was filed Monday in Warren County District Court.

WKU Police Chief Bob Deane said Autry was examined to determine whether she was raped. He would not confirm that she was sexually assaulted.

Goodrum, 21, of Scottsville, pleaded not guilty Monday in Warren County District Court and is being held in Warren County Regional Jail on $1 million cash bond.

University spokesman Bob Skipper would not release any information regarding the eyewitness, including whether he had any connection to the school.

Goodrum was arrested about 1 a.m. CDT by Kentucky State Police and charged with murder in the death of Autry, 18, of Pellville, Deane said Sunday.

Deane said Goodrum was not a student but would provide no other details about him or his relationship to Autry, who also had worked as a dancer at a Bowling Green-area strip club.

Bob Edwards, assistant vice president of university relations, said Sunday that more charges were expected to be filed against Goodrum, including arson.

Messages left at Goodrum's home were not returned Monday.




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