BURLINGTON, Ky. (AP) — The trial of a former Warren County, Ohio, sheriff's deputy accused of killing his parents has begun with prosecutors and defense attorney presenting starkly different versions of what happened.
Public defender Joanne Lynch says Michael Moore shot his father, Warren Moore, in self-defense. Lynch said the older man fatally shot his wife, Madge Moore, and then turned the gun on his son, wounding him.
"Michael Moore killed his dad, but he is not a murderer," she said during opening statements last week in Boone Circuit Court.
Prosecutor Jason Hiltz said Michael Moore, who is 43, killed both of his parents at their northern Kentucky home in June 2009 due to his growing appetite for drugs. He said Moore was after his mother's pain pills.
The case has drawn interest in the region because Warren Moore was the Union city administrator and a beloved community leader when he died.
The trial is expected to last up to seven weeks.
Lynch explained in her opening that her client made up a story about an intruder to protect his family from embarrassment.
"How in the world could he let the community know that his well-respected, well-loved parents' lives had ended this way?" Lynch said. "He was afraid for himself, make no mistake about it, but he was also afraid for the reputation of his parents."
She said the couple's relationship had become strained as they struggled with Madge Moore's multiple sclerosis and Warren Moore's recurring cancer in addition to their son's drug addiction.
Hiltz said Michael Moore made up both excuses to cover up the fact he snapped on the day of the killings. He said Moore's parents confronted him about a lie and he became violent and fatally shot them both.
Lynch asked jurors to keep an open mind about her client.
"Michael is not an angel, and he is not perfect, and he is not a hero, and that is the truth," Lynch said. "He is a human being with many, many, many flaws. But he is not a murderer."
Information from: The Kentucky Enquirer, http://www.nky.com