February 12, 2016

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Judge allows evidence in creek shooting trial

Published 10:26 am Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A judge has ruled that evidence showing a man has a history of shooting at alleged trespassers on his property may be allowed in trial.

David Quarles is charged with first-degree wanton endangerment for an incident in June, when he allegedly shot across Elkhorn Creek four times in the direction of Roseanna Blankenship and two people with a canoe.

Quarles also allegedly shot at people in the creek in 2002 and 2004, but he was found not guilty in one case and the other was dismissed for lack of probable cause.

He also has allegedly made at least 12 calls to 911 in the past 10 years reporting trespassers of some kind of the creek.

Assistant Commonwealths Attorney Zach Becker argued last week in Franklin Circuit Court to be allowed to use Quarles past as evidence in trial because the incidences are similar.

Kevin Fox, who is representing Quarles, claimed it wasnt relevant because he was never found guilty and both situations happened too long ago.

Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd wrote in his ruling that he agreed with Becker and will allow the evidence to be presented during the trial.

The court believes it is relevant, and highly probative, that Mr. Quarles has engaged in a consistent course of conduct for over 10 years that indicates his belief that people exercising their lawful right to use the waterways of the Commonwealth of Kentucky are trespassing on his property, Shepherd wrote.

Shepherd will also allow the emergency dispatch logs to be entered as evidence.

These charges did not arise in a vacuum, and the Commonwealth has a right to put on evidence of motive, intent, and pattern based on prior actions of the defendant, Shepherd wrote.

Quarles is scheduled for a jury trial May 7.