Grand jury to hear evidence in shooting death

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By Robin Bass

The murder case against Raymond Revard will be heard by a Spencer County Grand Jury, said District Judge Linda Armstrong at a preliminary hearing Friday, after she determined there was sufficient evidence to proceed.

Revard, 41, was charged in the alleged shooting death of his wife, thirty-nine-year-old Lea Revard, following an incident that occurred at their Normandy Station Road home January 14. Emergency personnel responded to a 9-1-1 call that day from a man who stated his wife had shot herself in the head. When police arrived at the scene, they found Revard kneeling down in the kitchen holding a dish towel to his wife’s wound. Spencer County Sheriff Steve Coulter said deputies became suspicious when Revard’s statements did not match evidence found at the scene.

At the preliminary hearing Friday, Deputy Russ Cranmer, lead detective for Spencer County Sheriff’s Department, presented testimony that the angle of Lea Revard’s wound could not have been self-inflicted. The entry wound suggested that she was shot from the back, at the base of her head and just left of center. The exit wound was at her left temple – a difficult feat for someone right-handed, said Cranmer.

“The angle of the trajectory is pretty strong evidence,” said Armstrong, when asked for an explanation of her ruling by defense attorney Stephen Miller.

Armstrong said other factors in her decisions were that Revard was the only other person home at the time of the incident and there were no allegations that an intruder could have been responsible.  In addition to the murder charge, Revard has been charged with tampering with physical evidence.

Cranmer said that deputies found evidence of blood on the shower curtain, in the shower and bloody clothes in the laundry hamper which led them to believe someone had taken a shower sometime before they arrived. Cranmer also said a hand-written note on the kitchen table appeared to be laying on top of other papers that were splattered with blood and bone fragments.

When asked to recall what the note said, Cranmer said he could not remember exactly but “it was something like, I’m sorry about everything. Tell the children I’m sorry. I just don’t want to continue in pain every day.”

Cranmer said statements from Lea Revard’s parents suggested that their daughter wrote notes when she was upset with her husband. Cranmer said he has not confirmed that the note found on the kitchen table was written by Lea Revard, but that similar notes were found in a night stand. Cranmer said the notes found were not dated.

Miller asked Cranmer a series of questions in what could have been an attempt to have the charges dismissed. Commonwealth Attorney Laura Donnell accused Miller of seeking discovery, or fishing for information he could use in a trial.

Some of those questions were:

• If police knew for certain all the doors to the Revards’ home were securely locked?

• If Revard was a murder suspect, why did police allow him to go to the hospital to see his wife?

• Did police take into consideration Revard was holding a towel on his wife’s wound when they asked him to participate in a gunshot residue test?

• Did police know that Lea Revard was taking 18 different psychotropic drugs and had an appointment with a psychologist that day?

Psychotropic drugs are any substance that affects the central nervous system, and can cause a variety of changes in behavior or perception. Caffeine is considered a mild psychotropic, or psychoactive, substance – so are alcohol, nicotine and numerous illegal drugs and stimulants. Psychotropic drugs affecting mood include antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers and tranquilizers.

Cranmer said initial toxicology reports indicated that Lea Revard had aspirin and one other unknown medication in her system.

In the motion for bond reduction, Miller argued that Revard is a rooted member of society having lived seven years in Spencer County and an employee of Ford for the past 11 years. Revard’s entire criminal record consists of one speeding ticket for which he went to traffic school, said the defense attorney. Miller also said that if Revard does not return to work he would likely lose health care coverage for his two children, one of which suffers from asthma.

Armstrong denied Miller’s request to reduced Revard’s bond from $500,000 to $250,000. She said her ruling to keep the bond amount the same was due to the seriousness of the charges.