Garrett

Garrett

A jury trial has been set for a Leitchfield man accused of the 2018 shooting death of another individual on Lashley Street in Leitchfield.

40-year-old James Garrett was charged with murder following the June 20, 2018 shooting death of David Smith at Garrett's residence at 1619 Lashley St.

Garrett was arrested by the Kentucky State Police on the night of the shooting, and, according to his arrest citation, he told police he had shot Smith in self-defense after Smith left Garrett’s residence and later returned with a BB gun.

Garrett told police he and Smith had been at his residence drinking beer when Smith left the residence for 45 minutes. Upon Smith's return, Garrett told police he observed his back porch security light come on and grabbed his home-made shotgun because he was paranoid, the citation states.

Garrett went on to say that he looked out the back door and saw Smith standing there with a BB gun in hand, according to the citation.

Smith reportedly told Garrett, "I got you," after which, Garrett told police, he felt threatened and shot Smith one time before returning inside the residence, reloading the home-made shotgun, walking back outside, and shooting Smith again, the citation reads.

The Kentucky Medical Examiner's Office lists Smith's official cause of death as multiple shotgun wounds to the head and torso.

Additionally, the arrest citation states that, following the shooting, a woman - who, according to court testimony, resided in Garrett's home at the time - was walking home when Garrett threatened her life if she did not give him her phone. After she did so, she ran to a neighbor's residence to call for help.

After taking the woman's phone, Garrett then allegedly fled the scene, threw the gun and ammunition into a pond behind the residence, and called 911 to turn himself in, the citation states.

Garrett was indicted last August on the charges of murder; tampering with physical evidence; robbery in the first degree; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; and persistent felony offender in the first degree in relation to these incidents.

He is scheduled to be tried in Grayson Circuit Court for these charges on March 10-13, 2020 at 9 a.m., and a final pre-trial conference has been set for the case to be held on Jan. 7, 2020 at 1 p.m.

Garrett has pleaded not guilty to all charges filed against him and remains lodged in the Grayson County Detention Center. He is being represented by the Department of Public Advocacy.

If convicted, Garrett faces a maximum of 50 years to life imprisonment for the charge of murder; one to five years imprisonment for tampering with physical evidence; 10 to 20 years for robbery in the first degree; one to five years for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; and penalty enhancement for being a persistent felony offender in the first degree.