A southern Whitley County couple, who were found with a dead body in their bedroom and blood on them more than two years ago, has turned down plea deals offered to them by the prosecution and are instead opting for a jury trial, which is scheduled to start in mid-November.
Chris James Lowe, 40, and Lori Mattie, 39, are each charged with murder and first-degree unlawful imprisonment in the death of Michelle Marlow, 36, of Williamsburg.
Lowe is also charged with tampering with physical evidence for allegedly moving Marlow’s body after having beaten her.
Mattie’s attorney, Cotha Hudson, told Whitley Circuit Judge Paul Winchester during a hearing Thursday morning, that she had explained the ramifications of rejecting the plea offer to her client, and “against the advice of counsel” her client was rejecting the plea offer and opting for the jury trial.
Lowe’s attorney, Michael Brophy, informed Winchester that his client had rejected the plea offer too.
Mattie is also facing a separate 2017 first-degree fleeing or evading charge.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Ronnie Bowling noted Thursday that the plea offer had called for sentences in the two cases against Mattie to be run concurrently, or at the same time as one another, and that now he would be requesting that the sentences in the two cases be served consecutively, or one after the other, if Mattie is convicted in both cases.
Bowling added that he wanted to make clear to the two defendants that they were both facing sentences of up to life in prison, if they are convicted during their trial, which is slated to start on Nov. 19.
Prosecutors are expected to take three to four days to present just their side of the case.
About 7:12 p.m. on July 23, 2017, Kentucky State Police Sgt. Tony Dingess responded to a call about an unresponsive female lying in the roadway on Old Mud Creek Road.
Dingess found blood near Mattie and Lowe’s residence and a trail of blood leading to their residence, according to their arrest citations.
When Dingess entered the home, he found Marlow dead in a bedroom, and both Lowe and Mattie with blood on them, an arrest citation stated.
Lowe and Mattie were in a relationship and were living together. Marlow was an acquaintance, who spent the night at their home, KSP Detective Eric Moore testified during a preliminary hearing in 2017.