By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
A man accused of murder in the shooting death of his wife was indicted by a Laurel County grand jury Friday.
Ernest Chris Chumbley, 48, of London, was officially indicted for murder after allegedly shooting his wife, 44-year-old Virginia Chumbley, on Aug. 28 — calling it an “assisted suicide.”
In a 911 recording obtained by The Times-Tribune through an open records request, Chumbley said his wife, who suffered from cancer, asked him to shoot her.
Law enforcement records indicate his wife was shot twice in the head and that he admitted to shooting her during a videotaped interview. It was learned through court testimony she was actually shot three times.
During a hearing earlier this month, District Judge W.L. Hammon’s denied Ernest Chumbley’s attorney, Conrad A. Cessna’s, request to dismiss the murder charge as well as his motion to have the charges amended to assisted suicide. Hammons also denied the defense’s request for bond reduction.
During the hearing, Cessna asked Laurel Sheriff’s Detective Charlie Loomis what happened when he arrived at the Chumbleys’ Greenlawn Subdivision home after Ernest Chumbley reported the shooting.
Loomis said the 911 call came in around 2:35 a.m. and the first officer arrived about 13 minutes later. Loomis got there at 3:11 a.m.
“When I went into the bedroom, I observed the victim lying on the bed covered up about three quarters of the way,” Loomis testified. “I could see two gunshot wounds to the left cheek and later I discovered there was another one close to her nose.”
Loomis added that, “She was lying in a normal position on the bed, her body was straight and her head was turned to the side.”
He described the bedroom, explaining there was a table next to the bed with a small refrigerator on it. “On top of the fridge was a .32-caliber handgun with the slide locked back … no bullets were left in the magazine,” Loomis said, further explaining that one live round was also found under the covers in the bed beside his deceased wife.
Loomis said he interviewed Ernest Chumbley at the sheriff’s department after the arrest.
“He basically said he shot her two times in the face; he made that admission more than once,” the detective said. “He said she told him to.”
Loomis said the two were reportedly watching a movie when Virginia Chumbley reportedly made the decision.
Loomis said he asked Ernest Chumbley if the shooting was something he and his wife had discussed before that night, and Chumbley replied, “Not specific, no.”
Cessna also asked Loomis if he was aware of the victim’s health and if he knew she had cancer.
“I’m not fully apprised of her medical condition, but according to the preliminary results of the autopsy, she had polyps on her brain and the cancer was in her liver, but I don’t know where else; Mr. Chumbley had also told me she had breast cancer,” Loomis answered. Cessna then asked Loomis if he was aware that Virginia Chumbley had refused chemotherapy treatments and had refused hospice care.
“All I have to go by is from talking to other family members who said she had been undergoing treatments and was interested in taking treatments,” Loomis said, adding he had spoken to her sisters.
After the preliminary hearing, Virginia Chumbley’s two sisters and her mother told The Times-Tribune they don’t believe her death was an assisted suicide.
Ernest Chumbley remains jailed in the Laurel County Correctional Center under a $200,000 cash bond.
Ernest Chumbley claims he shot his cancer-stricken wife in an ‘assisted suicide’
By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
- Local News
Board updated on career center
Monday night’s special meeting of the Laurel County Board of Education featured updates on the construction of the new Laurel County Career Readiness Center.
Police Roundup - Dec. 10, 2013
W’burg man wanted in connection with thefts
Crash leads to DUI arrest
Keavy man jailed after alleged DVO violation
Lily man arrested on domestic violence charges
Man arrested after TV tossed in the rain
Three arrested after disturbance at business
Ohio man arrested in Knox County
Corbin man charged with shoplifting
Unresponsive man eventually wakened, arrested
Woman dies following Nov. 27 crash
A London woman injured in what was termed as a “severe” two-car crash in November has died.
City Commission approves tax refunds
After approving bills for payment and minutes from the board’s last two meetings, the next order of business was to approve tax refunds.
BREAKING NEWS - High waters close road in Whitley Co.
According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, KY 779 in Whitley Co. at mp. 11.5 - both lanes are covered by water. High water signs have been placed at said location by state personnel.
Ready to prepare for Winter’s air?
Last Thursday, the official high temperature at the London-Corbin Airport was 72 degrees. That tied a record high for Dec. 5 that was set in 2001.
Resident asks for review of pawn shop rules
A review of the city’s rules governing pawn shops — that’s what one Barbourville resident requested of the city council during its regular meeting Thursday.
Like a ping-pong ball being batted around the table, the recent weather in the Tri-County and throughout Kentucky has taken a topsy-turvy turn. And, we’re not out of the woods yet.
Shelter using temporary building
In a large white building located on the outskirts of Corbin, staff from the Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter continue picking up debris left inside by the owner from whom they are renting and to repair parts of the building.
Board members updated on airport improvements
Although the bulk of the Williamsburg-Whitley County Airport Board meeting’s agenda was tabled for discussion in the January meeting, board members did discuss items pertinent to the airport Thursday.
- More Local News Headlines
- Board updated on career center