Hodgenville man indicted for murder in fatal wreck

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By Sarah Bennett

A Hardin County grand jury has indicted a Hodgenville man for murder in the deaths of an Elizabethtown couple killed in August in what police believe was an alcohol-related wreck.

Earl D. Richardson, 46, faces two counts of murder, first-degree wanton endangerment, tampering with physical evidence, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicants — first offense and no operator’s license. The indictment was returned Thursday.

An indictment is an allegation, not proof of guilt. Richardson is innocent until proven guilty.

The grand jury alleged Richardson was driving under the influence of alcohol Aug. 18 when he was involved in a fatal wreck that left Johnie M. Dennis, 75, and Luevenia Dennis, 71, dead.

According to Kentucky State Police, Richardson was southbound Aug. 18 on Lincoln Parkway in a 1997 Chevrolet Blazer while Johnie Dennis was westbound on Roundtop Road in a 2004 Nissan Sentra.

Police said the Sentra pulled into the path of Richardson’s Blazer as the Sentra attempted to cross the parkway. The Blazer struck the passenger side of the Dennis’ car and forced both vehicles off the road.

According to the indictment, Richardson allegedly “wantonly” caused the couple’s deaths “under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life.”

At the time of the wreck, Richardson’s juvenile son also was a passenger in the Blazer while the father allegedly operated under the influence, according to the indictment. Police said the 10-year-old boy sustained minor injuries in the wreck.

Following the collision, Richardson allegedly hid “several beer cans in an attempt to prevent police officers from locating them during the course of their investigation,” according to the indictment.

The grand jury alleged Richardson also did not have a valid driver’s license at the time of the collision.

According to court documents, Richardson’s residence in Kentucky has been short.

Richardson is lodged at Hardin County Detention Center in lieu of a $500,000 cash bond. An arraignment is set for Tuesday in Hardin Circuit Court.

Sarah Bennett can be reached at 270-505-1750 or sbennett@