After listening to testimony for 2½ days about the 2018 slaying of an Elizabethtown man behind his rented home, it took a Hardin County jury about two hours Friday afternoon to find a woman and her then-boyfriend guilty of murdering her fiance, Andrew Folena.
Shortly after the verdict was announced, Lisa Harvey, 51, of Elizabethtown, and Rick Fisher, 44, of Louisville, each were sentenced to 30 years in prison — 25 years on a murder conviction and five years on tampering with physical evidence. The sentences run consecutively.
The verdict was announced with two of Folena’s 10 brothers and sisters in the gallery.
“I know that it will begin to give Andy’s family some closure to this chapter. However, I know his manner of death and loss will continue to bring them sadness for the rest of their lives,” Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Teresa Logsdon said.
Defense attorneys for Fisher and Harvey, Erin Hartman and Ashley Michael, declined to comment on the verdict by a five-man, seven-woman jury.
Fisher and Harvey decided not to testify in their defense. Hartman called one witness Friday, a DNA supervisor, who was on the stand briefly. Michael called no witnesses.
Folena was found June 9, 2018, in a shallow grave by a tree behind his house on Ralph Franklin Road off Ring Road. His body was buried under a light covering of dirt and tree branches. According to an autopsy report by state medical examiner’s Office, Folena was strangled, suffered blunt force trauma to multiple areas of his body and had three stab wounds to his stomach.
Harvey was Folena’s fiancee at the time of his death, was in a relationship with Fisher and was involved in a “friends with benefits” arrangement with another man, Joseph Goodman.
Fisher and Goodman lived in the brick home unknown to Folena and also stayed in a barn and garage on the property.
On the day Folena is believed to have been killed, June 6, 2018, he caught Harvey and Fisher in an upstairs bedroom having sex, according to testimony by Goodman, who said he saw Fisher beating Folena to death later that day through a basement window.
A metal pole and baseball bat were introduced Friday morning as evidence to the jury. Folena’s DNA was found on multiple parts of the bat.
Also introduced as evidence was a dark tie of Folena’s that Harvey reportedly used to strangle Folena. She jumped on his back as he went to a back door after being unable to get in the locked front door of the home June 6, according to a fellow inmate of Harvey’s, Tonya Dean, who testified Thursday.
She said Harvey told her when Folena, 58, realized what was going on in the house between the multiple relationships and men staying there, he threatened to throw everyone out.
Dean testified Harvey called Folena her “Sugar Daddy.”
“This was a difficult case for many reasons, none the least of which was the fact it was a case that resulted in the death of a member of our community,” Logsdon said. “I appreciate the jury’s hard work and verdict as well as the assistance of the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office.”
Testimony closed Friday morning with two witnesses, including Hardin County Sheriff’s Office Detective Christina Priddy, who began her testimony a day earlier.
Much of her testimony Friday centered around why Goodman wasn’t arrested as part of the crime, given his DNA was found near Folena’s body on a cigarette butt and plastic bottle.
She also was asked why some items were tested for DNA and some weren’t. A wheelbarrow and shovels, for instance, believed to have been the items used to dig the grave and to bring Folena’s body to the site, weren’t tested.
Priddy, who took over as lead detective in the case after Detective John Paul Taylor retired Jan. 1 of this year, said because the items had been outdoors they had been impacted by weather conditions.
“They were out in the elements and fingerprints are delicate,” she said.
The tie also wasn’t sent to be tested for DNA. She said it was likely DNA of Harvey and Folena was on the tie since they lived in the home. She said no blood was observed on the item.
DNA of Fisher or Harvey was not found on any items tested.
“You have somebody who’s violent, and has a criminal history and his DNA is there and that’s not enough to charge him?” Hartman asked Priddy.
“I believe him,” she said.