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Lesbian may be forced to testify against spouse in Ky. murder case

Monday, June 17, 2013
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Kentucky judge is weighing whether a same-sex couple qualifies for the privilege of not testifying against a spouse in a slaying case in Louisville.

Bobbie Joe Clary

The question arose in the case of Bobbie Joe Clary. Clary is charged in the Oct. 29, 2011, murder and robbery of George Murphy, accused of fatally wounding Murphy with a blunt object in his Portland home.

Clary is claiming self-defense, saying that Murphy was raping her and she fought back by hitting him in the head with a hammer.

Prosecutors say that Clary’s spouse, Geneva Case, heard Clary admit to killing Murphy and saw her clean blood out of his van and abandon it in Southern Indiana.

They argue Case must testify about those facts, even though Kentucky law exempts spouses from being compelled to testify against each other.

Prosecutors claim that, although Clary and Case entered into a same-sex civil union in Vermont in 2004, Case is not exempt from testifying because Kentucky doesn’t recognize same-sex civil unions or marriages.

Jefferson Circuit Judge Susan Schultz Gibson set a July 30 hearing date over whether Case qualifies for the right not to testify against Clary.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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