|Commonwealth v. Clary|
|Full name||Commonwealth of Kentucky v. Bobbi Jo Clary|
|Plaintiffs||Commonwealth of Kentucky|
|Defendants||Bobbi Jo Clary|
|Court||Jefferson County, Kentucky Circuit Court|
|Current status||Order issued denying marital privilege|
Commonwealth v. Clary is a 2011-2014 murder case. The case, 11-CR-3329, is assigned to Judge Susan Schultz Gibson.
On October 29, 2011, George Murphy died at his home in the Portland neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky. Prosecutors believe Bobbi Jo Clary, the defendant, committed murder by striking him with a hammer. Clary asserts that she acted in self-defense, that Murphy had been attacking her and had raped her.
Prosecutors also say that Clary's civil union partner, Geneva Case, observed evidence in the death and heard Clary admit to murder, and they seek to compel Clary to testify against Case.
In Kentucky, spouses are protected from being compelled to testify against one another in court. But same-sex marriages and civil unions are not recognized in Kentucky based on a 2004 state constitutional ban. Among the issues are whether that ban is unconstitutional based on US v. Windsor, and if so, whether a Vermont civil union should be granted the same privileges as an out-of-state marriage.
On September 23, Judge Gibson issued an order denying Bobbi Jo Clary's motion to invoke the marital privilege, and denying Geneva Case's motion to quash the subpoena issued against her. Her reasoning was that since Clary and Case are in a civil union, they are not considered married in Vermont, so even if Kentucky's marriage ban were unconstitutional, it would not allow the couple to invoke spousal privilege. Therefore, the court did not even reach that question.
The defendant or her civil union partner may appeal that decision. If they do not, the trial is expected to begin on February 7, 2014.
- Motion for invocation of marital privilege
- Memorandum supporting motion to quash subpoena
- Kentucky's response to motions
- 2013-07-30: Hearing on whether Case will have to testify against Clary
- 2013-08-16: (hearing?)
- 2013-08-30: (original planned date for trial to begin?)
- 2013-09-23: Order denying motions
- 2014-02-07: Jury trial scheduled to begin
- 2004-12-03: Bobbi Jo Clary and Geneva Case enter into a civil union in Vermont
- 2011-10-29: George Murphy dies at his home
- 2013-06-17: Lesbian may be forced to testify against spouse in Ky. murder case (includes date of alleged murder)
- 2013-07-11: Kentucky to Decide Applicability of Same-Sex Marital Privilege
- 2013-07-30: Exclusive: Will a lesbian couple be forced to testify against each other? (includes video of Case)
- 2013-08-01: Lesbian May Be Forced to Testify Against Wife, ABC News (includes information on July 30 hearing date)
- 2013-08-11: Lesbian couple claims spousal privilege in Kentucky murder case to prevent wife from testifying (includes notes of August 30 trial date)