A motion that was filed in Livingston County Circuit Court on Friday by the defense attorneys stated that the court should exclude the gruesome photographs because Dunlap should be allowed a trial lacking in surprise, prejudice and inflammatory tactics on the part of the prosecution.
The motion calls for the preclusion of all of the photographs that were taken during the medical care and initial investigation concerning the death and injury of the four victims in the case.
Trigg County Commonwealth’s Attorney G.L. Ovey said Monday that his office was preparing a response to the motion, but had little else to add.
Kevin Wayne Dunlap, 37, of Hopkinsville, was charged in November last year with the Wednesday, Oct. 15, murder of Kayla Elayne Williams, 17, Kortney Lan McBurney-Frensley, 14, and Ethan Zane Frensley, 5, and the attempted murder of their mother, Kristy Frensley, as well as rape, kidnapping, burglary and tampering with evidence.
56th Circuit Court Judge C.A. “Woody” Woodall will likely decide on the motion at the competency hearing, which will be the final pre-trial hearing before the trial on Friday, Jan. 22, at the Livingston County Justice Center at 9 a.m.
Hearings in the case have been held at the Livingston County Judicial Center in Smithland. Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Carrie Ovey-Wiggins had earlier said that a change of venue was sought because of all of the pre-trial publicity, which she said could possibly be grounds for an appeal if Dunlap is convicted.
According to police, Dunlap murdered the three children, raped and tried to kill the mother, left her for dead and then set the house on fire in order to destroy evidence and cover up his actions.
Additionally, more motions were filed by the defense team late on Monday. Chief among them was a motion for Woodall to recuse himself from the case, as he presided over a divorce hearing between Kristy Frensley and her then-husband Jeffery Frensley in 2007 as well as a custody hearing involving the Frensleys in 2008.
The defense said it’s impossible to know if Woodall can rule on the credibility of Kristy Frensley as a witness during the trial without holding a bias against Dunlap.
The defense also filed a motion not to allow any references to statements by anyone regarding a possible stalker or stalkers reportedly watching the Roaring Springs residence from the woods, and asks that any evidence found in the nearby woods be excluded.
A third motion filed this week requests that both G.L. Ovey and Carrie Ovey-Wiggins reveal any and all relationships to any potential jurors that could be in the trial. Gibson argued that since Livingston County is small, members of the prosecution could have various ties to many of the would-be jurors, which he said could affect the ability of those jurors to make an impartial decision.