HAZARD—The trial of a Perry County man accused of beating another man and trying to sink his body into the Kentucky River has been postponed again.
Larry Yocum, 42, appeared in Perry County Circuit Court on Thursday for a status hearing on his trial originally set for April 21. Yocum was arrested in September 2013 on charges related to the beating and attempted murder of Jeffrey Karr, of Hazard.
Allegedly, Yocum and Karr were on the bank of the river by the blue basketball courts in Hazard when Yocum struck Karr in the back of the head with a cinder block. Yocum then placed the block on top of Karr in an attempt to submerge him in the water.
Karr survived the incident and was later found on the opposite side of the river with a skull fracture and a few minor injuries. He was transported to the University of Kentucky hospital and released the following day.
Yocum has also been charged with tampering with physical evidence alongside Karr’s wife, 47-year-old Teresa Karr, with whom police have reported Yocum was involved in a romantic relationship. Police said Yocum and Teresa Karr washed Yocum’s clothes after the incident with her husband, which destroyed any potential evidence on them.
Judge William Engle said in court on Thursday that the trial for Yocum would have to be postponed again due to a delay in retreiving DNA evidence from Yocum, the amount of time the DNA testing would take to complete, and the fact that multiple pieces of evidence, including tapes with witness statements and grand jury proceedings, had not been turned over to the defense.
“I’ve had to cancel one trial in this case so far. I understand the state budget issues and all that, but the state’s still got an obligation to abide by the constitution,” Engle said on Thursday after being told the DNA samples had yet to be collected by state officials.
Engle pushed the jury trial back to Aug 18.
Teresa Karr also appeared in court on Thursday to accept a plea agreement. Karr pleaded guilty to one count tampering with physical evidence. A sentencing hearing has been set for May 15.
Yocum and Karr are currently being held at the Kentucky River Regional Jail.
Amelia Holliday can be reached at 606-436-5771, or on Twitter @HazardHerald.