HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Monday started the second day of testimony in Warren Hardy’s murder trial, the prosecution has several witnesses to call but hopes to have their case wrapped up by the afternoon.
In 2016, Hardy was charged with killing a 72-year-old NASA retiree during what police call a crime spree. Authorities say he killed Kathleen Lundy after kidnapping his ex-girlfriend’s daughter and stepfather.
The state’s first witness on the stand was crime scene investigator Lisa Hamilton. During her testimony, several crime scene photos taken the day of the shooting were shown to the courtroom and Madison County Circuit Judge Chris Comer warned the jury there would be blood in some of the pictures.
Some of the photos showed the Lundy home, including blood and dropped snacks that during his Friday testimony Rusty Lundy said his wife, Kathleen, was preparing to take to a neighborhood gathering the day she died.
Other photos showed the vehicle that Jessica Holtcamp (Hardy’s ex-girlfriend), Lee Bradford (her stepfather), and Holtcamp’s daughter drove away in. The red Isuzu Rodeo had several bullet holes visible in the pictures. Both Holtcamp and Bradford testified on Friday that Hardy chased them in a stolen vehicle and shot at them several times.
Hamilton testified that after she was called to look at the red SUV the stolen Lexus, belonging to the Lundys, was found on Mahogany Road in south Huntsville. She said she found shell casings in the Lexus during her search.
Hamilton also testified about the evidence collected when Hardy was taken into custody in Tennessee. She said Tennessee investigators found knives, a handgun, holster, magazine, and eight unfired cartridges in Hardy’s vehicle and investigators also turned over a red backpack and roll of duct tape.
The vehicle was impounded by Huntsville Police and another search was conducted which turned up another unfired cartridge under the driver’s seat, a receipt from Larry’s Pistol and Pawn, a black bra, a photo of Holtcamp, another receipt for a stun gun, and an actual stun gun, according to Hamiton. She added several cell phones, GPS, tablets, and a laptop were found in Hardy’s Suzuki SUV.
Hamilton explained she took the shell casings and bullet fragments to the Department of Forensic Sciences office in Hoover for tests and analysis.
After Hamilton’s testimony, a state medical examiner Dr. Steven Dunton was called to the stand to discuss the autopsy of Kathleen Lundy. Dunton said he has performed more than 7,600 autopsies to date, but he did not perform Lundy’s, the doctor who did her autopsy died.
Dunton reviewed a copy of Lundy’s autopsy report on the stand. He said a bullet entered through her upper left chest and fractured her rib, it went through her lung, heart, and liver before exiting through her right hip. Dunton added she also had a split scalp and that the laceration almost reached her skull.
He testified Kathleen Lundy’s cause of death was a gunshot wound to the torso and the manner was a homicide because the gunshot wound was inflicted by another individual during a violent exchange.
Dunton said Lundy was standing upright with her palms out when she was shot.
Brandon Best was also called to the stand Monday. He is a forensic scientist working in the firearm and tool mark identification field. Best said he received the gun the .40 caliber Smith and Wesson recovered from Hardy’s vehicle along with bullets and fragments in January 2017.
Best testified that he test-fired the gun into the lab’s water tank and his results showed that all of the bullets and fragments that could be compared were fired from the .40 caliber Smith and Wesson.
Monday also saw testimony from Brad Arnette who handles digital forensics for the Madison County District Attorney’s Office. Arnette said he read many text messages and call logs in the case, including messages sent on the day of the shooting, August 26, 2016.
Arnette testified that he looked through one cell phone and did not look into any of the other devices that Hamilton discussed in her testimony.
After an early lunch, court resumed at 1 p.m. with the prosecution calling Huntsville Police Investigator Chris Hines to the stand. He said he was the on-call investigator that Friday.
Hines said he spoke with responding officers at Moreland Pointe before speaking with Bradford, Holtcamp and Rusty Lundy at the precinct. He said that based on the information HPD put a BOLO or ‘Be on the Lookout’ for Hardy and his vehicle.
Hines said the search for Hardy lasted through Sunday when they heard he had been seen in Jasper, Tennessee and that within two or three minutes HPD dispatch responded saying they had Hardy in custody.
Eventually, Hardy was brought back to Huntsville and a recorded interview was conducted, the almost 38-minute long interview was played for the courtroom.
After the video, Hines said Hardy discussed purchasing a weapon and going to the shooting range in the interview. Gann cited a receipt from Larry’s Pistol and Pawn on August 26, 2016. Hines said the receipt showed a legal purchase and there was documentation.
Hines said after the interview, evidence was turned over to Hamilton and a search warrant was obtained for Hardy’s vehicle.
Hines stated in the interview that Hardy had told him he checked himself out of the hospital against medical advice just before going to the shooting range. Hines said he never made an effort to find out what medications Hardy was given while at the hospital.
When asked to provide context for the aggravated stalking/domestic violence charges against Hardy, Hines stated most of the evidence showing Hardy had repeated contact with Holtcamp came from Holtcamp herself. Hines said Holtcamp provided a copy of the protection order.
Hines said Holtcamp said Hardy continued trying to contact her and showed up to her home unannounced prior to the order, though Hardy was never served with the order based on the standards of Madison County.
When asked if he believed Hardy intentionally killed Lundy, Hines stated he did in the commission of taking her vehicle, as well as the circumstances leading to and after the shooting.
Gann asked if there was a chance that it was an accidental shooting, and Hines said no.
Hines left the stand and the state rested its case in Hardy’s trial around 3:15 p.m. on Monday.
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