Homicide site

This apartment building at the intersection of South Fifth and Elm streets is where Murray police found a man deceased Sunday morning. Two Murray residents were taken into custody for their alleged involvement in the man's death.

MURRAY — Calloway County Coroner Ricky Garland identified a man Monday whose death on Sunday resulted in two Murray residents facing charges. 

Garland said Rickie Puckett, 66, of Murray, was the person police officers found Sunday morning inside an apartment on South Fifth Street. 

“I received the call at about 11:30 in the morning and we put the time of death at 12:15 p.m. because that was the time we were able to get over there to pronounce him, but it will end up being earlier than that,” Garland said, adding that Puckett’s body was taken to Madisonville for a preliminary autopsy Monday morning. 

Calloway County Circuit Court Clerk Linda Avery said Monday that the suspects in the case — identified by Murray police as Charles Harding, 51, and Deneyear Kim Puckett, 57, both of Murray — were arraigned that morning in Calloway District Court. She said that Judge Randall Hutchens set a preliminary hearing in the case for 9:30 a.m. Dec. 4. 

Preliminary hearings in Kentucky are required within 10 days of the case entering the court system. That is designed to see if probable cause exists in the case to move it to the next level, which would be having the case heard by a grand jury, which could issue an indictment, either on original or amended charges, thus moving the case into the circuit level. 

Murray Police Department Public Information Officer Sgt. Brant Shutt said officers received information on Sunday about a possible homicide at the apartment. Upon arriving, he said they made entry and found an adult male, now identified as Puckett, deceased. Then, after detectives began investigating the case, the two suspects were located and identified. 

After being interviewed at the scene, Shutt said they were taken into custody. Harding is charged with manslaughter in the first degree, while Puckett is charged with second-degree burglary. The Calloway County Jail website listed both as inmates Monday afternoon and showed both as having no bond. 

“Our people did an outstanding job locating the suspects quickly. Our investigators got in, found what had happened and got charges pressed and now, those people are in the Calloway County Jail,” said City of Murray Police Chief Jeff Liles on Monday, adding that his agency had assistance on the case. “The Calloway County Sheriff’s Office was also involved, so it was a team effort by everybody.”

Individuals facing charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.