LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville judge lowered a murder defendant's bond from $100,000 to $5,000 during his arraignment on Thursday, apparently based on wrong information in the arrest citation.
Joseph Luckett, 43, was charged with murder and driving drunk on Dec. 28 after another vehicle traveling the wrong way in the southbound lane of South Seventh Street crashed into Luckett's vehicle, according to the initial arrest report.
But police clarified that account on Thursday, saying that Luckett actually was the one driving the wrong way when he struck the other vehicle near Jordan Avenue in the Algonquin neighborhood around 6 p.m. The other driver, who has not yet been identified, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police spokesman Sgt. Lamont Washington said the arresting officer made a "clerical mistake in the narrative of his citation" but declined to comment on the bond change, saying those decisions were made in court.
Washington provided WDRB News with a correct accident report "to clarify any confusion for you all or your viewers," he said in an email.
But at Luckett's arraignment Thursday morning, the judge, prosecutor and defense attorney all were apparently relying on the information in the incorrect arrest citation.
Attorney David Lambertus, who represents Luckett, argued that the $100,000 bond should be lowered to home incarceration because "one significant factor, and I hope the court would take this into consideration, is the police report deems he is not at fault in the accident."
Lambertus told the judge prosecutors may eventually even decide not to proceed with the case, given the alleged circumstances that Luckett did not cause the crash.
The prosecutor asked that the bond remain the same but didn't put up much of an argument because he said he had not spoken with the arresting officer "to get a full picture of what is going on."
Jefferson District Court Judge Kristina Garvey said that while Luckett has a past criminal history, including a recent DUI and past drug convictions, looking at his current citation she "would only feel comfortable" with a $5,000 bond and home incarceration if he can post that amount.
Luckett posted bond after the hearing, according to court records.
The next court hearing was set for Feb. 21.
Washington, the police spokesman, said the department would not be doing any interviews about the case but said court officials "may have been arguing based on the (initial incorrect) citation."
The correct summary of the wreck had not yet been provided to prosecutors and the arresting officer was not subpoenaed to appear in court, he said.
Luckett, who was said to have life-threatening injuries, was in a wheelchair in court on Thursday.
His blood-alcohol level after the wreck was more than twice the legal limit, according to court records. A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf.
Lambertus, his attorney, does not comment on his cases to the media.
Josh Abner, a spokesman for the Jefferson County Attorney's office, said they are now aware of the error in the citation and have been told the case will be presented to a grand jury on Monday.
If Luckett is indicted, prosecutors will be able to ask a circuit court judge for a higher bond, he said.
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