A southern Whitley County couple, who have been in jail since July 24, 2017, accused of beating a woman to death, are scheduled to stand trial this fall after apparently both rejected plea deals.
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 beaten her.
The couple had been scheduled to stand trial in late May, but the trial was postponed in order to give the defendants more time to mull a plea offer from the prosecutor.
In April, Lowe’s attorney, Mike Brophy, said that his client had rejected the plea offer up until that point.
Mattie’s lawyer, Cotha Hudson, noted during an April hearing that her client was thinking about the offer.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Ronnie Bowling noted during the April hearing that both plea offers were “final offers,” and that he was leaving Lowe’s plea offer open for another 30 days.
During a pretrial conference Thursday, neither side mentioned the plea offers and settled upon a Nov. 19 trial date.
Judge Paul Winchester noted that he had hearings scheduled for Monday, Nov. 18, but the trial could begin on Nov. 19, and if it didn’t finish by that Friday, it could continue over into the following week.
“We need to come in ready to go on the 19th,” Winchester informed all the attorneys.
Bowling said that he would need three to four days to present the prosecution’s case to the jury.
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.