A Whitley County Grand Jury indicted a Williamsburg man for murder Monday morning in connection to the June 21 killing of his aunt, Wanda Richardson, who was beaten and stabbed.
Public Advocate Caleb Pittman entered a not guilty plea for Michael Worley during his arraignment Monday afternoon in Whitley Circuit Court.
Judge Paul Winchester scheduled an Aug. 5 pretrial conference in the case.
There was no mention of lowering Worley’s $250,000 cash bond during Monday’s court appearance.
An R-Tech driver, who was at Richardson’s home on June 21 to pick her up for a doctor’s appointment, saw Richardson run out of her home with her head bloody yelling, “Help me! Help me!” according to testimony last week during a preliminary hearing in Whitley District Court.
The R-Tech driver, who wasn’t identified in court, later allegedly saw Worley choking Richardson while she was down the on ground. When police arrived at the scene shortly before 8 a.m. that morning, the victim was covered in blood, and Worley had a significant amount of blood on him too, Williamsburg Police Lt. Bobby Freeman testified last week.
Freeman was the first officer to arrive at the scene on Betty West Road.
Freeman said that when he got to the residence in response to a complaint about a woman being arrested, there was an R-Tech van parked at the house, which the R-Tech driver moved so that he could pull up.
Freeman said that he recognized Worley, who was running away from the victim and yelled at him to stop and sit down. He didn’t sit, but stood nearby.
Whitley County Sheriff’s Deputy John Hill soon arrived at the scene and handcuffed Worley.
Freeman found the victim lying face down in the gravel between her residence and her mother’s residence, which were a short distance away.
Freeman said that there was a lot of blood at the victim’s residence, on her mother’s porch, and on the ground. The victim was found about 20 yards from her own residence.
The victim’s mother told police that Worley and Richardson had been on the mother’s porch arguing. In her 911 call, the victim’s mother, who also wasn’t identified, can be heard telling dispatchers that Worley was killing her daughter, Freeman testified.
Worley apparently stuck his head in the door about that time and said that Richardson was fine, and going to the doctor, Freeman testified.
The R-Tech driver also thought she saw Worley “jabbing her with something” while she was on the ground. Police recovered a three-prong garden tool that is being sent to the Kentucky State Police Crime Lab for testing to see if it has blood on it, Freeman testified.
Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird said previously that Richardson suffered blunt force trauma to the head and three stab wounds to the neck but this wasn’t what killed her. Rather the state medical examiner was leaning towards asphyxiation by strangulation as the cause of death.
Monday’s indictment stated that Worley killed Richardson by “beating and stabbing” her.