PRESTONSBURG – Floyd County murder suspect Ronald Wright appeared back in court last week. Jury selection for Wright’s murder trial was scheduled to begin Monday.
Wright was indicted on March 12, 2013 for the murder of Farmer Halbert. He was also charged with attempted murder for pointing a loaded gun at Lorene Halbert and shooting her with the intent to kill. Additionally, Wright was charged with seven counts of wanton endangerment.
Wright’s attorney, Jerry Patton, entered a motion on July 8 against allowing Kentucky State Medical Examiner Dr. Cristin Rolf, MD, the opportunity to give video testimony in lieu of live testimony at the trial. Patton noted Rolf’s video testimony violates the confrontation clause of the United States Constitution and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Rolf resides in Alaska, but, however does from time to time appear live to give testimony in other states including Kentucky. She will testify to certain forensic findings and give her opinion on matters which would necessitate her being present at the trial, in order that counsel can confront her, directly, with exhibits, photographs, diagrams and other written and visual material.
Patton claims by allowing Rolf to give video testimony it will deny Wright effective cross-examination of the witness through his counsel.
A pretrial conference is set for September. A new trial date has not been set.