MOREHEAD – An Ashland man has been found not guilty in the death of Kenneth Fulton of Morehead at his home in 2017.
A Rowan County jury deliberated less than four hours Monday night to acquit Randy Parmley, 43, of Ashland.
Parmley also was found not guilty of wanton endangerment.
In closing arguments on Monday afternoon, Catlettsburg defense attorney Sebastian Joy and Commonwealth’s Attorney Ronnie Goldy tried to convince the jury whether or not Parmley at the time of the shooting believed he was in imminent danger with the right to use deadly physical force or that he shot an unarmed man without seeing a threat to his life.
The incident occurred on April 10, 2017, at Fulton’s home on Leaning Tree Way, just north of the I-64 Farmers/Sharkey interchange.
Police said Parmley came to Morehead to confront his wife about why she was at Fulton’s home.
Kentucky Revised Statutes say the use of deadly force by a defendant upon another person is justifiable only when the defendant believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against death or serious physical injury.
Fulton was shot twice outside his home after an altercation with Parmley.
The defense claimed Parmley feared for his life because Fulton had a firearm and yelled, “I’m going to kill you…” before using an expletive.
The defense said Parmley focused on his law enforcement experience and that a decision to fire a weapon happens in “one millisecond,” a term used by a prosecution witness, a Kentucky State Police detective who investigated the case.
The defense attorney Joy replayed testimony by the KSP detective about having to make a decision really quickly when firing a weapon and tearful testimony by Parmley’s wife Sandy who said Parmley would never hurt her or kill Fulton.
Joy said Parmley was leaving the premises when Fulton came outside with a gun and fell off the deck. A weapon was found in the yard. Joy said the gun had grass and dirt in the barrel because Fulton had it on him when the gun was pushed into the ground.
After the shooting, the defense said Parmley ran to his truck and drove to the KSP post in Morehead where he consented to an interview and re-enactment of the incident because he was remorseful and had nothing to hide.
In his closing statement, Goldy said Parmley changed his story every time he described the altercation between the two men, including if Fulton fell or was pushed off the deck into the yard.
He also said Parmley’s wife gave the same story twice at different times soon after the shooting but had plenty of time to change her story when she was on the stand last week.
Parmley was told to leave the residence, Goldy said, and shot Fulton in the back as he was running away.
Goldy said Parmley fired the shots while covering his face with one hand, while Sandy Fulton was in the line of fire.
“Where’s the threat?” Goldy said repeatedly throughout his closing. “No one can put the gun in (Fulton’s) hand.”
“We are very thankful to the Rowan County jurors who took their time to consider the evidence of the case and we are glad that justice prevailed,” Joy said Tuesday by telephone.
“The family is very thankful but at the same time, we regret the loss of Mr. Fulton’s life.”
Stephanie Ockerman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 784-4116.