By Mike Perleberg
Michael Moore, 39, is on trial for allegedly murdering his parents in their Union home in 2009.
(Burlington, Ky.) - A murder trial that is expected to last at least five weeks began in Boone County Circuit Court with a surprising twist Thursday.
Michael Moore is accused in the June 2009 double murder of his parents, Warren Moore – the former Union Mayor – and his wife Madge in their Indian Hill Drive home in the normally quiet community. The case has gone through various delays and continuances since Moore was arrested. Jury selection began last week.
Moore, a former Warren County, Ohio Sheriff’s deputy, faces the death penalty if convicted.
From the time he called 911 the night of the murders, Moore had claimed that a masked intruder shot his parents and that he was shot in the leg before the gunman fled.
In opening arguments Thursday, however, Moores’ defense attorney, Joanne Lynch, offered a new story. That the 43-year-old shot his father in self-defense after Warren Moore had killed his wife in the family’s kitchen. Lynch said Michael was shot in struggling to get the firearm from his father, two bullets hitting him in the leg and groin.
Lynch said Moore had made up the story about an intruder to protect his family’s reputation.
Prosecutors, however, maintain that Moore was drug addicted and had been in an argument with his parents over his drug use, leading to the shootings. Both victims had been shot in the head.
Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Jason Hiltz told jurors that Moore had lied to his parents the night before about going on a trip to Atlanta, when he was actually staying at a northern Kentucky hotel abusing drugs.
Testimony began Thursday, with the first detective to arrive at the Moores’ home the night of the murders describing what he found. Audio from Michael Moore’s call to 911 to report a shooting was also played.