HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Opening statements and testimony began in the murder trial for a Huntsville man accused of kidnapping two people and the killing of a 72-year-old woman following a carjacking.
12 jurors and four alternates were chosen Thursday evening from an original pool of 80 candidates. The jury is made up of seven men and nine women.
Huntsville Police say in 2016 Warren Hardy kidnapped his ex-girlfriend’s daughter and stepfather from her apartment and forced them to drive to a home on Morland Pointe where the ex-girlfriend was at the time. Police said Hardy then forced his ex-girlfriend into the car at gunpoint but before he could get back into the car the stepfather drove away.
Hardy then began walking down the street and encountered Kathleen Lundy leaving her home, he demanded her car keys and shot her before driving away in her car, according to Huntsville Police.
State’s attorney Emily Caroll provided the opening statement for the district attorney’s office. She said Hardy ran towards the Lundy home and demanded car keys and after grabbing Kathleen, her husband handed the keys to him.
Caroll said even after getting the keys Hardy still pulled the trigger.
Defense attorney Larry Marsili said in this case certain things are not in dispute but some things are. As part of his opening statement, he asked that the jury listen very closely because this is a case where the details are going to matter. Marsili continued by saying that there will be some things in this trial that line up perfectly and there will be some that don’t add up at all.
Marsili also asked that the jurors approach the case with an open mind and common sense. He added if they did that then they will come to the conclusion that the state has failed to reach its burden of proof on these very serious charges.
The state’s first witness on the stand was Kathleen’s husband, Rusty Lundy. Rusty said he had been sitting in the living with his five-year-old granddaughter watching cartoons while Kathleen was preparing food to take to a neighborhood gathering.
Rusty said he went to open the door for his wife and saw a man coming up the driveway demanding keys to a car. He said the man then grabbed Kathleen around the neck and pulled her.
Rusty testified that is when he handed over the keys Hardy shot his wife and pushed her into the house. That is when Rusty called 911 and the recording from that call was played in court.
During the defense’s questioning of Rusty, he said that he didn’t see a gun in Hardy’s hands at first but after Rusty asked Hardy what he needed then he saw it. Rusty continued saying that Hardy was angry, pointing the gun and swearing.
Rusty said his wife was just five feet tall and scared to death, that Hardy was huge at the time of the incident. He also said he did not see Hardy pull the trigger.
Before Rusty was excused from the stand, Madison County Chief Deputy DA Tim Gann showed him and the jury several photos of the house, foyer, and living room area.
After a short break, Hardy’s former girlfriend Jessica Holtcamp was called to the stand. She testified about the early days of her relationship with Hardy and how they moved in together in February 2015. Holtcamp started to testify about Hardy’s abusive habits towards her when the defense objected.
After a discussion with attorneys, Madison County Circuit Judge Chris Comer told the jury that Holtcamp’s testimony cannot be considered in the evidence of the case because Hardy’s charges aren’t related to those alleged past incidents.
Holtcamp testified that she left Hardy after a build-up of instances but he continued to reach out to her through a variety of methods, including her phone. She said she changed her number but Hardy somehow got her texts and calls forwarded to his phone and that he threatened to send inappropriate photos to news stations as well as her boss, an elementary school principal.
Hardy waited for Holtcamp after school one day and followed her to her daughter’s school yelling profanities, according to Holtcamp. She added that she drove to the Huntsville Police South Precinct and he also followed her there, that was the day she filed a protection order against him.
Holtcamp also testified about the day of the kidnapping and shooting. She explained that she met her stepfather, Lee, and her daughter at the Morland Pointe neighborhood where Lee’s father lived and Lee had picked her daughter up from school that day.
Holtcamp said she called Lee and Hardy demanded she get in the car. According to her, that’s when Hardy stepped around the front passenger door with a gun placed against his stomach and again demanded she get in the car. She recalled that Hardy was calm but firm when he told her ‘get in the car’.
Holtcamp’s daughter saw the gun and screamed, that’s when Lee put the car in reverse and an open door knocked Hardy to the ground, according to testimony.
She said that a few minutes later Hardy driving a white Lexus pulled up next to them going the wrong way down the road and began firing into Holtcamp’s car. Hardy fired three shots into the car while leaning out of the passenger side of the stolen vehicle, according to testimony.
Holtcamp said he chased them for more than five minutes and during that time she was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher until he was out of sight.
She also answered several questions from the defense on the timeline of her protection order against Hardy and why she did not file any police reports against him before she was excused from the stand.
The next witness called was Lieutenant Dickey with Huntsville Police who was at the south precinct on August 24, 2016, the day Holtcamp ran in.
Lt. Dickey was a sergeant at that time, he testified that day he walked outside to speak with Hardy who told him that he only wanted to speak to Holtcamp. He also recalled that at the time Hardy said he had not been served a protection order. He told the defense that he advised Hardy to contact the sheriff’s office and mind out if a protection from abuse order had been filed but one was not served that day at the south precinct.
Lt. Dickey was excused from the stand and Warren “Lee” Bradford, Holtcamp’s stepfather, was called up.
Bradford explained what happened on August 26. He testified that he picked Holtcamp’s daughter up from school and took her to Walmart before heading home to Jessica’s apartment. Bradford recalled they were in the apartment about five minutes Hardy came running through the door and knocked him down.
‘Lee you’re going to do what I tell you to do or I’m going to shoot you’, Bradford said Hardy told him with a gun in his hand.
Bradford said Hardy wanted him to call Holtcamp and have her meet him at his father’s house in Morland Pointe. Bradford explained he didn’t care what happened to him he just had to stay alive long enough to get Holtcamp’s daughter to safety.
Bradford also recalled the tense drive to Morland Pointe with him driving, Hardy in the passenger seat with the gun on his lap, and the little girl in the backseat. He said he fumbled with the keypad and was ordered by Hardy to pull up next to where she had parked.
He testified that Holtcamp got out of her car and started to unbuckle her daughter from the backseat when Hardy opened his door and was pushed Holtcamp into the vehicle.
“I looked back and I said ‘this is it’. I put it in reverse, punched it, knocked Warren down and backed through the gate and kept going. I was afraid to stop,” Bradford said.
Bradford said he saw Hardy get up off the ground, grab the gun and started walking towards them before making a sharp turn toward the Lundy house. He then explained how Hardy followed them in another car and shot at them several times.
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