By LORRIE GILLOCK
Landmark News Service
A Trimble County grand jury will soon determine whether officers were justified in shooting a man involved in a recent domestic dispute.
The shooting occurred Dec. 29, 2007, after police were called to a Thorn Hill Road residence on a report of a domestic dispute. According to Kentucky State Police spokesman Chip Perry, Debbie Corley called 911 shortly after 4 p.m. to report her estranged husband, Darrell Corley, was at the home they once shared, threatening her.
Darrell Corley left the residence in Tandy Farms subdivision prior to officers' arrival, however he was soon located a short distance from the house. Officers on the scene reported Corley was armed with a "large knife," which he refused to drop at their request. When he "approached the troopers in a threatening manner," Perry said, Trooper Kyle Moffett and Sgt. Howard Rice fired their weapons, hitting Corley an undisclosed number of times.
Corley, 49, was pronounced dead at the scene by Trimble County coroner Frederica Congleton.
Although Perry could not disclose the nature of threats allegedly made by Corley the day of the shooting, papers filed in Trimble County circuit and district courts reveal prior allegations of physical violence between the couple.
Debbie Corley applied for an emergency protective order against her husband in August 2007, stating she was fearful of his reaction to her filing for divorce that same day. Those documents, as well as previous protective order applications, outline a history of threats and physical violence throughout the couple's 17-year marriage.
In a February 2001 EPO petition, Corley stated that a domestic violence order filed eight years prior against Darrell Corley resulted in him bringing a loaded gun to her home, where he then proceeded to kidnap and physically abuse her.
Eventually the couple reunited, though the court approved another EPO application in December 2006. At that time, Debbie Corley wrote in her application, "I think he is talking of hurting himself or me. He is like a time bomb waiting to go off."
Also in that application, Corley wrote she wanted her husband to "get well so he can be a dad" to the couple's two children, ages 10 and 16 currently.
Shortly thereafter, Darrell Corley was ordered by a judge to attend anger management counseling, though court documents state he failed to attend any classes.
Another order for anger management counseling was filed in the 2007 case, and proof of his enrollment was presented to the court in November. The couple was due back in court next Monday, Jan. 14.
An autopsy was performed on Corley and ballistics tests will determine which officer fired the fatal shot. Results of the tests are expected to take six to eight weeks. The officers are expected to remain on paid leave until an internal investigation is complete, which should be as early as next week.
KSP has requested the case be presented next month to a Trimble County grand jury, which is standard procedure in trooper-involved shootings.
"It's up to the Commonwealth's Attorney whether or not it goes before a grand jury, but we request it," Perry said. "People should know the facts in the case and trust proper procedures were followed."
This was just the second shooting in 18 years involving troopers from KSP Post 5 in Campbellsburg, Perry said. The last one occurred two years ago in Carroll County.
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