‘Sometimes it’s not illegal to kill someone:’ Jury deciding Lexington murder case

A Fayette County jury is deliberating the fate of a Mississippi man accused of shooting and killing a 22-year-old man in Lexington almost two years ago.

The murder trial for Bobby Hubbard, 24, wrapped up Thursday with closing arguments from his lawyer and the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office. Hubbard is charged with murder for allegedly killing Doricky Harris at a Coolavin Apartment on West Sixth Street in September 2022.

Both sides spent roughly 20 minutes wrapping up their cases to the jury. Whitney Kirk, representing Hubbard, said her client acted in self-defense and should not be convicted of murder.

“As odd as it sounds, sometimes it’s not illegal to kill someone,” Kirk said. “Our legal says there’s certain situations where you’re allowed to do that. You’re protected by the law.”

Kirk made her case by describing the situation Hubbard was faced the night of the shooting. Harris’ girlfriend, Jada Richardson, testified she called Hubbard and told him Harris had assaulted her and fired shots earlier that day. Richardson allegedly asked Hubbard to come pick her and her child up and take her to her sister’s house in Georgetown, fearing for her safety.

Richardson told Hubbard to come armed, Kirk said.

When Hubbard arrived he was told Harris was armed and dangerous, according to Kirk. He went to Richardson and Harris’ apartment to retrieve baby formula and a car seat while legally armed with a gun.

Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Nikolas Fegenbush previously said Hubbard knocked on the door several times and received no response. When Hubbard opened the door, he was allegedly confronted by Harris, who jumped out and scared Hubbard. That’s when Hubbard allegedly fired his gun and fled the scene.

“The Commonwealth wants you all to believe that just opening that door with the gun drawn is inherently aggressive,” Kirk said. “However, violence avoidance is not violence aggression initiation. He was trying to avoid anyone being hurt.”

Kirk asked the jury to find her client not guilty of murder.

“I believe to my core he was justified in using self protection, but if you all disagree, and you think his conduct was a gross mediation, then he’s still not guilty of murder,” Kirk said. “He should instead be convicted of reckless homicide.”

Prosecution: ‘He has lied to you.’

Mary Tobin, representing the attorney’s office, used a slideshow to point out irregularities in Hubbard’s account of the incident during closing arguments. The slideshow contained communications between Hubbard and family members, audio recordings of police interviews after Hubbard was arrested and even Hubbard’s own testimony from when he took the stand Wednesday, where he admitted to getting his facts wrong in previous interviews.

“He is a nice, polite young man, but he has lied to you,” Tobin said. “He has told you mistruth after mistruth because he wants to get out of this.”

Tobin also claimed Hubbard’s actions were not self defense and not about protecting Richardson. Tobin highlighted previous testimony describing Harris as a nonviolent person.

“This fear that was instilled in Jada and Diamond and everyone was so afraid and everyone was talking about it in the apartment complex, where did that come from? It wasn’t from Jada or Diamond, they did not say that. That’s from Mr. Hubbard,” Tobin said.

Tobin asked for the jury to find Hubbard guilty of murder.

“I ask you to not let the defendant get away with this,” Tobin said. “They’re going to tell you that you need to look at reckless (homicide) and manslaughter second (degree) – it’s not a mistake that he went there, so those aren’t applicable.”

Murder is a capital offense in Kentucky and carries a punishment of at least 20 years in prison up to life imprisonment.

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