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GUILTY: Life sentence in shooting

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By The Staff

SHEPHERDSVILLE - After nearly 12 hours of deliberations, a Bullitt County jury found Keith Moore guilty of murder.

And it took only 30 minutes Wednesday to decide that Moore should serve a life sentence with no chance for parole for at least 20 years.

The family of Tim Nevitt cried as the verdict was announced but Moore showed little emotion.

He was also found guilty of complicity to tampering with physical evidence, first degree unlawful imprisonment, complicity to intimidate a participant in a legal process and wanton endangerment in the second degree.

On each count, the jury recommended a five-year sentence that would be served concurrently to the life sentence.

Moore, 45, was found not guilty of kidnapping and first degree wanton endangerment.

The six-man, six-woman jury reached a verdict shortly after noon on Wednesday. The panel was sequestered Tuesday after deliberating eight hours without reaching a verdict.

Moore was found guilty of the Jan. 16, 2007, shooting death of his long-time friend, Nevitt.

According to the lone eyewitness, Danielle Walker, the two men were in the kitchen of Moore's home in Whispering Oaks. She told the jury that Nevitt didn't have a knife and that Moore shot Nevitt twice.

Prosecutor Mike Ferguson said one of the most disturbing parts of the entire event was that Moore then called his friends to help him bury the body off Sarver Lane.

During the penalty phase, Christine Nevitt, the victim's 19-year-old daughter, cried as she told the jurors about having to live the rest of her life without her father.

While her parents were divorced, she said her father still played a big role in her life.

"He won't be able to walk me down the aisle," she said of a wedding without her father.

In his closing on the penalty phase, Ferguson asked the jurors to see Moore for the person that he is -- someone who shot his friend of 20 years to death and then didn't call for medical help.

"This man is cold, calculating, brutal and evil," said Ferguson.

In her closing, defense attorney Rebecca Murrell asked for leniency from the jury.

She said Moore had no prior felony or misdemeanors. Also, she said both men had their own problems and it was Moore who gave Nevitt a place to live when he got out of prison.

If Moore received a 20-year sentence, she said he would not be eligible for parole consideration under the age of 62, or 85 percent of the sentence being served.

She admitted that Moore did not do the right things after the shooting and that her client panicked.

Final sentencing is set for Nov. 19 at 1 p.m.

Circuit judge Rodney Burress increased the bond of $500,000 to $1 million cash.

He is currently in the Bullitt County Detention Center awaiting placement in a state facility.

After the life sentence was recommended, Ferguson said that there is nothing that could bring back Nevitt's life or to make up for the loss to the family members.

However, the assistant commonwealth attorney was pleased with the work of the jury.

He said it validated the testimony of Walker and her accounts of seeing the shooting, being taken to the burial site and then being held by Moore for two more days until she was able to call for  help.

"She was very brave," Ferguson said of Walker.

He added a friend would not shoot and then walk out and try to bury them without attempting to get medical help.

"It's a punishment that fits the crime," said Ferguson.

 

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Tuesday, Oct. 7:

Billy Ray Moore testified that his son called him around 8-9 p.m. on the night of the shooting. He said that his son told him that he had shot Nevitt. He said his son told him that Nevitt had threatened to kill him with a knife and then he shot the victim.

On several occasions, the father said he told Keith Moore to call the police that evening. Billy Moore said that he also failed to call the police.

 

Wednesday, Oct. 8:

Mark Boggs told the jury on Wednesday that he got a call from Moore early one morning four or five days before the shooting.

During the conversation, Boggs said Moore was upset with Nevitt and asked him to help get rid of the body. However, at the time Boggs said he didn't think anything had happened and he told Moore to look for other ways to handle the dispute.

When he went over to Moore's home on Jan. 18, he didn't know anything had happened.

Murrell questioned him on why he didn't call the police after the initial phone call. She also wondered if his testimony was a way to possibly avoid having his probation revoked. A hearing is planned for the revocation after the trial is completed.

Boggs said there was no connection and prosecutors came to question him this summer about what he knew.

Theresa Jones said she went over to the mobile home about 9 p.m. on the night of the murder with Moore's sister, Kimberly. When she arrived, she said Moore mentioned the shooting and Nevitt having a knife and there being a fight.

She said there was a lot of blood on the kitchen floor and several people were there cleaning up the mess.

Jones said that she was afraid of Moore and didn't want to call the police, especially while Kimberly Moore was present.

 

Thursday, Oct. 9:

The girlfriend of Nevitt took the stand on Thursday as the jury got to listen to her call to 911 after witnessing the shooting and having to stay with the alleged killer for another 36 hours.

Danielle Walker told juror that she was in the living room the night of Jan. 16 when Moore and Nevitt were talking in the kitchen. When she turned around, she saw Moore shoot Nevitt.

She testified that Nevitt and Moore had verbal battles over Nevitt having to leave Moore's home in early January. But she said it wasn't anything violent.

Walker said that after the shooting, Moore called several people and a couple came over that night. Included in the events of that evening was Paul Cipperone, who they went to see and then came back with sheets and blankets and shovels.

She said that the three drove around to Sarver Lane, where the body was drug and disposed of, covered with leaves and brush since the ground was too hard to dig a hole.

After spending Wednesday in the home with Moore, the defendant left on Thursday. At that time, she found Nevitt's old cell phone and called 911. Bullitt County Sheriff's deputies arrived shortly thereafter.

Under cross-examination, she said that Nevitt drank some whiskey and did meth but it wasn't too often. She said while she wanted to leave the home and she had the opportunity to talk with several visitors, she felt that it would result in her death.

Even when the pair were in separate vehicles driving Nevitt's car to a bar in Jefferson County, she felt Moore would shoot her.

 

Friday, Oct. 10:

Det. Scotty McGaha testified that he was the person who interviewed many of the witnesses, said that Moore gave him a statement after his arrest.

He said Moore was able to lead him to the location of Nevitt's body. But McGaha said that Moore continued to tell him that the shooting was in self-defense. He told the investigator that when Moore came at him with a knife, he fired two shots. And then he panicked and didn't call the police.

As the defense got its first opportunity, Murrell introduced jail records from Nelson County showing that Moore had indeed left Walker alone in the trailer as he visited a friend in Bardstown.

She also produced witnesses who spoke of Nevitt's behavior on Jan. 16.

 

Monday, Oct. 13:

On the final day of testimony, Murrell recalled Walker to the witness stand.

Under examination, Walker said that she should have told McGaha that he used the little shovel to dig grave and that she shouldn't have told him that it was Moore and Cipparone who dug the grave.

Walker also told the jury that she gave McGaha quick answers on the day she was rescued from the trailer and didn't recall every detail.

On Wednesday, Jan. 18, Walker maintained she didn't know that Moore had left her alone. The jail records showed that Moore had visited at 2 p.m. on that day.

Under cross-examination by Ferguson, Walker said Moore had given her two little blue pills on that Wednesday and she remembered sleeping a lot during that time.

Julie Lucas testified that Walker, Nevitt and Moore all visited her home on Jan. 16. She remembered that Nevitt was loud and obnoxious and she told him to leave.

Moore replied that she didn't have to worry about Nevitt returning, according to Lucas.

 

Tuesday, Oct. 14:

A jury began deliberating Tuesday morning in the murder trial of Keith Moore.

Throughout the trial, jurors have gotten to see how attorneys from the prosecution and from the defense have related different pictures of what happened on Jan. 16, 2007.

Assistant commonwealth's attorney Mike Ferguson and defense attorney Rebecca Murrell are expected to give closing arguments on Tuesday morning and the jury will then decide the fate of Moore.

On Jan. 16, 2007, Timmy Nevitt and Moore were in a manufactured home off Barricks Road when two fatal shots were fired.

Moore is facing charges of murder, kidnapping, tampering with physical evidence, wanton endangerment and intimidating a participant in a legal process.

Ferguson has attempted to prove the Moore committed the act of murder by shooting Timmy Nevitt in his Whispering Oaks home.

And then, without calling the police or medical personnel, took the body and buried it off Sarver Lane.

But Murrell has attempted to prove that her client acted in self-defense and Nevitt attacked Moore with a knife. Also, she spent a lot of time trying to show that the key witness for the prosecution told different stories at different times.