Kentucky v. Thomas Mays

This case was brought to me on 13 September, 2000, with a trial date of 22 September, 2000.  Mr. Mays had been indicted by a grand jury for the murder of one Gary Wayne Thacker on the night of 18 September, 1999.  Mr. Mays, being poor, had been in pre-trial confinement since the night of the shooting incident.  Mr. Mays was being represented by the local office of the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy.

The materials brought to me by the DPA (some 175 photographs, autopsy reports, investigation reports, grand jury testimony transcripts, etc.) clearly showed that a travesty of justice was afoot.  On motion, the trial was continued in order to allow me time to get into the case.

The primary evidence in the case was the testimony of a detective who recounted his blood stain pattern analysis of the shooting incident scene.  In reviewing the evidence, I was stunned.  The detective’s testimony was total rubbish fiction originating from some alternate universe.

I wrote a report thoroughly refuting each and every part of the “analysis” in detail.  The evidence showed that Thacker assaulted Mr. Mays who fired one round from a shotgun in authorized deployment of deadly force (self-defense).  Much legal wrangling ensued.

The final upshot was that Mr. Mays pled guilty to various charges and was released for time served in pre-trial confinement (more than two years).  Not the least in Mr. Mays decision must be that while in jail, Mr. Mays house was burned to the ground and his family left the county under threat.

The other upshot of this case is that blood stain pattern analysis, when applied to gun shot cases,  is “voodoo science”. I later met the detective and mentioned this case to him.  In front of witnesses, the detective said “Don’t blame me”.  He stated that his testimony was what the medical examiner and prosecutor told him to say.

Copy of my report is available