Attorney hints at justifiable homicide in Briscoe murder

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Handgun found at victim’s feet


The Anderson County man gunned down in his driveway in September was also armed at the time of his death, it was revealed during a hearing Thursday morning in Anderson District Court.
Steven Briscoe, 54, of 1433 Fairview Road died of a single gunshot wound to the chest Sept. 14. Charged with his murder is Lexington resident Gary Luttrell, who appeared in court Tuesday for a probable cause hearing to have his case sent on to a grand jury.
At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge Linda Armstrong forwarded the murder charge to the grand jury and kept Luttrell’s bail at $500,000 despite a plea from his attorney, public defender Casey Holland, to have it reduced.
During cross examination of state police Det. Steven Spurlock, Holland attempted to raise several doubts about what happened that day, including that Briscoe had a handgun when he was shot.
Spurlock, the detective, confirmed the handgun was found at the scene.
“Was it fired?” asked Holland.
“No,” said Spurlock, who added he didn’t know if it was brandished but confirmed that the gun was found near Briscoe’s body.
Following some preliminary questions from Holland, County Attorney Bobbi Jo Lewis objected to further questions when the subject of the second gun came up, but Armstrong, the judge, allowed Holland to continue.
While requesting a reduction in Luttrell’s bail, Holland said there is “some indication of justifiable homicide,” a stance he confirmed after the hearing.
“Given the fact that Mr. Briscoe had a handgun at his feet, we’re looking into that,” Holland said by phone.
Lewis, the prosecutor, objected to reduced bail, saying that she believes the murder charge will be substantiated by a grand jury.
Armstrong refused to reduce the bail, noting a long history of violent offenses, including violation of a protective order.
Luttrell reportedly fled Anderson County after the shooting, taking his wife, Leslie, with him against her will.
Leslie Luttrell was reportedly staying at Briscoe’s residence before the shooting.
Spurlock told Holland that the Briscoe and Leslie Luttrell dated from 2000 to 2009 but were “friends” at the time of Briscoe’s death.
Gary Luttrell was found several days later at a residence in Chillicothe, Ohio, reportedly at the home of a cousin.
Leslie Luttrell told police escaped when Luttrell stopped at a vacant residence in Shepherdsville to use the restroom.
The cousin in Ohio told Spurlock that Gary Luttrell said Leslie Luttrell contacted him from Briscoe’s residence before the shooting and asked him to come get her, which contradicts statements she made to police and others that she was taken against her will.
The cousin also told Spurlock that Luttrell admitted to shooting and killing Briscoe.
To escape from Luttrell, Spurlock said Leslie Luttrell told him she bolted from the vacant home in Shepherdsville while Gary Luttrell “sat on a 5-gallon bucket,” to go to the bathroom.
“She flagged down a vehicle and asked the female driver to take her to the police,” Spurlock said.
Spurlock said his investigation revealed that the Luttrells were spotted earlier that day in Nelson County, where a Leslie Luttrell told someone at a grocery store that her husband had killed Briscoe and that she had been taken against her will.
Spurlock also said that Briscoe’s brother, Gary, told him he was at the Fairview Road residence two days earlier when Luttrell arrived and threatened Steve Briscoe.
Spurlock said he interviewed some of Briscoe’s neighbors, but none heard a gunshot that morning. He said he interviewed workers in a Lexington pawn shop and found out that Luttrell was there in the days leading up to the shooting and purchased .410 shotgun shells, the same caliber gun used in the shooting.
Spurlock testified that Leslie Luttrell was present when Briscoe was shot, but didn’t actually see the incident.
He said the .410 shotgun was found on Ashby Road in Anderson County next to a vehicle used by Gary Luttrell to leave the scene of the shooting.
Spurlock said Gary Lutrell and Briscoe had a longstanding dispute over Leslie Luttrell.