By Charlotte Underwood / Staff Writer
A London man who was arrested after shooting his wife early Wednesday morning has been arraigned and has a preliminary hearing scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday, according to Laurel County District Court documents.
Ernest Chris Chumbley, 48, had a plea of “not guilty” entered on his behalf during his arraignment in district court at 9 a.m. Wednesday, where Laurel County District Judge John Chappell appointed him a public defender. However, according to the public defender’s office, Ernest Chumbley has obtained private representation.
After his preliminary hearing Tuesday, the case could either go to a higher court, be amended down or waived to the grand jury, according to court officials.
Ernest Chumbley was arrested around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday after he called 911 and reported he had shot his wife, Virginia Chumbley, 44.
Deputies responded to a home on Greenlawn Subdivision road, 10 miles south of London shortly after Ernest Chumbley phoned in the report.
He remained on the phone with 911 while he waited on deputies to arrive. During the 911 recording, Chumbley can be heard telling the dispatcher “I guarantee, I only did what she told me.” He also told the dispatcher that his wife had cancer “all over.”
When deputies reached the home, they found Virginia Chumbley in the bedroom, dead from apparently more than one gunshot wound, according to the arrest report. A .32 caliber pistol was found nearby. Deputies located Ernest Chumbley in his living room near the front door of the residence, and arrested him without incident. He was charged with murder and jailed in the Laurel County Correctional Center where he remains with his bail set at $200,000 cash.
Laurel County Coroner Doug Bowling said late Wednesday an autopsy was complete, but that final results would not be in for about three weeks. Preliminary results confirmed that Virginia Chumbley died of “more than one gunshot wound.” Bowling also confirmed she had cancer.