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Trial Delayed for Man Charged with 2018 Murder of Ex-Girlfriend in Owensboro

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Erica Owen/family
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The trial of a 28-year-old man charged with charged with killing his ex-girlfriend in her Owensboro home has been delayed.

A Daviess Circuit Court judge ruled at a hearing on May 28 to postpone the Oct. 1 trial, mainly because defense attorneys said COVID-19 is hampering their preparation.

Matthew Adams is charged in the strangling death of Erica Owen, 25, in her home, four weeks after she took out an emergency protective order against him. 

Owen earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Western Kentucky University and was working as a nurse for Owensboro Health Regional Hospital when she died from strangulation on July 3, 2018.

Adams is charged with her murder, as well as burglary first-degree, theft by unlawful taking for stealing her car, two counts of tampering with physical evidence, and violating a Kentucky domestic violence order.

His defense attorneys told the judge that the limitations of COVID-19 made them unable to interview some witnesses.

The defense attorneys have also filed a motion to exclude the death penalty from consideration.

Another pretrial hearing is set for June 25. Commonwealth’s Attorney Bruce Kuegel said a new trial date will be considered at that time.

Adams remains incarcerated in the Daviess County Jail.

Rhonda Miller joined WKU Public Radio in 2015. She has worked as Gulf Coast reporter for Mississippi Public Broadcasting, where she won Associated Press, Edward R. Murrow and Green Eyeshade awards for stories on dead sea turtles, health and legal issues arising from the 2010 BP oil spill and homeless veterans.
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