Graves County to consider sending Paducah Police shooting case to grand jury

Graves County leaders are reviewing whether to bring criminal charges against one, two or three Paducah police officers.

Crime lab reports confirm Paducah Police Department rifles fired two bullets into a Graves County home Jan. 27. The bullets almost hit contractor Paul Hayden, whose ladder blocked the bullet, and two people who live there.

The Paducah Police Department says it’s conducting an internal investigation, but cannot comment further because of state statutes. The Graves County Sheriff’s Department report names the three officers target practicing that day: Capt. Joseph Hayes, detective Brian Young, and officer Jarrett Woodruff.

According to Paducah police records, Hayes has been with the department for 12 years and with the SWAT team for nine. Young’s been with the department for almost 17 years and with the SWAT team for 11 years. Woodruff has been with the department for almost 11 years, and  on the SWAT team for nine years.

Graves County Commonwealth Attorney David Hargrove says he might send the case to a grand jury to consider criminal charges, but he needs more information first. "The fact that there are Paducah police officers matters and maybe the fact they should have known better, but on the other end of it doesn’t matter at all to me," he says.  

"Wanton endangerment is wanton endangerment, whoever the actor is and whatever position they’re in," Hargrove says. "But we’ll have to take a look at it, but it may not come out to that."

As for the homeowners and contractor who called in the shots, they have talked with a lawyer. Attorney Bryan Wilson out of Mayfield sent a statement that reads in part: "At this time, we are monitoring the situation, and we are aware that this case will likely be brought before the next grand jury session in Graves County. We anticipate making a decision on how to proceed based on the outcome of those proceedings."

We reached out to Paducah Police Chief Brandon Barnhill. His statement says in part, "We have spoken to the Graves County Sheriff’s Office and will continue to provide whatever information and resources necessary to aid their investigation. As we previously have stated to all parties involved, depending on the outcome, we will do what is right and work with all parties in finding a resolution."

Hargrove says the grand jury meets again in April. Hargrove says his decision on whether to bring the case to the grand jury is independent of any internal Paducah police investigation.

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