Ky. Reporter Phones Murder Suspect By Mistake


“We’re going against the evil alien clones. … I started with my wife.” So Pat Hutchinson of Lexington, Ky., explained to a reporter from the Lexington Herald-Leader why he fatally shot his wife, Fontaine, in the head last Friday. A reporter accidentally reached Hutchinson by telephone, mistakenly believing that she was calling a neighbor’s house.

The newspaper said that once the reporter realized she had the suspect on the line, she kept him talking while an editor called police. When an officer asked the Herald-Leader to end the call with Hutchinson, the reporter did.

Hutchinson, 45, said, “I shot my wife, shot the paramedics, I shot at a cop but I think I missed him.” Asked whether his wife of 13 years, was alive, he said: “I don’t know, and I don’t care.” Asked for the reason behind the shootings, he said, “A cobra came up to me on the farm and gave me a stick and said, ‘God told me to give this to you.'”

The incident pointed up the fact that Lexington doesn’t have a policy that specifies whether firefighters and paramedics should wait for police when responding to potentially violent situations, the Herald-Leader says.

Two firefighters who started toward the Hutchinson house before police arrived were shot. One of them, Brenda Cowan, 40, died. The other was wounded. “We train to assist if the scene is safe; they evidently thought the scene was safe — it wasn’t,” assistant fire chief Bill Bailey said. Said Bill Robbins Jr., president of the Kentucky Firefighter’s Association: “There should be guidelines set up that if an EMS or fire department unit that’s responding to … domestic violence where there’s shooting, that law enforcement go in and secure the scene and make sure it’s safe before you enter.”

Yesterday, Hutchinson was sent to a psychiatric facility, where over the next six weeks, doctors will try to determine if he is competent to stand trial.


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