The May 28 trial date of a southern Whitley County couple, who are accused of beating a woman to death in 2017, has been postponed for a couple more months in part to give the defendants more time to mull a plea offer from the prosecutor.
Chris James Lowe, 40, and Lori Mattie, 39, are 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 beat her.
Whitley Circuit Judge Paul Winchester agreed to set a new Aug. 26 trial date for the couple during a pretrial conference Thursday morning in their case.
Lowe’s attorney, Mike Brophy, told the judge that his client has a plea offer but “at this point has rejected it.”
Mattie’s lawyer, Cotha Hudson, told Winchester that her client is thinking about the plea offer.
“She is trying to wrap her head around it,” Hudson noted.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Ronnie Bowling said that both plea offers are “final offers,” and that he would leave Lowe’s plea offer open for another 30 days, and Mattie’s plea offer open for an undetermined amount of time.
Bowling noted that he anticipates it will take three days for the prosecution to present its case at trial.
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.
Charles Lowe, who called 911, told police that he saw two females lying in the road and one was not breathing, Moore testified.
Another witness later saw Chris Lowe dragging someone from the roadway, Moore testified.
Police believe that a large walking stick, which was broken in two, was used to assault Marlow.
One piece of it was recovered in the road near a large pool of blood. Police recovered the other piece in the bathroom of Mattie and Lowe’s residence with blood splattered on it, according to testimony.
Chris Lowe believed that Marlow stole money from him, Moore testified about the alleged motive for the killing.