911 tapes from night of fire played in George Luna case
TRIGG COUNTY, KY- Addressing a jury of 11 women and 3 women Jeff Prather told the group early on, "Deb tried to do the right thing."
But, the Special Commonwealth Attorney continued on saying Debra Hendrickson's decision to help out a man she told her family was a 'nice guy' would cost her her life.
"After she welcomed her into her home he repaid her kindness by burning down her house and killing her," he said.
George Luna again faces murder and arson charges for the 2007 death of Hendrickson, that after his initial conviction was thrown out. Investigators say Luna hit Hendrickson over the head before setting fire to her mobile home in Marshall County, Kentucky.
On Monday, jurors heard Luna's own words on the very night of that fire. Two 911 dispatchers remembered taking phone calls from a man who is heard breathing heavy, whose words are mumbled. Luna tells one dispatcher he was with Hendrickson earlier in the night but left her at her home with 'a guy.' He says he went to a bar but she asked him to return so he did. That is when, he says, he saw the house in flames.
"Oh God," he is heard yelling.
When the dispatcher asks if anyone is in the home he becomes hysterical, shouting, "I don't know!"
The jury also heard testimony from Janice Level. Level said she arrived at her sister's house not long after Luna made those calls. Luna, the Commonwealth said, had taken Hendrickson's truck. An empty driveway, Level said, had her family holding out hope.
But when another truck, belonging to the coroner pulled up, she recalled her reaction, "We sank to our knees. In our hearts we didn't want to believe it. But we knew it was probably Deb."
"She had a heart so big it was unreal," she told the jury of her sister.
Level also testified about the relationship between her sister and Luna. She said Hendrickson called a month before the fire, saying Luna had threatened her and been abusive.
The death penalty has been taken off the table in this case. If convicted, Luna could face anywhere from 20 years to life behind bars, without the possibility of parole.
The state continues their case at 9 Tuesday morning.