A Hardin County man said Wednesday afternoon in Hardin Circuit Court he saw Andrew Folena being beaten to death by the boyfriend of Folena’s fiancee in the back of a home off Ralph Franklin Road when he returned from work more than 16 months ago.
Joseph Goodman testified on the opening day of a murder trial that he was in the basement of the brick home when he heard Folena, 58, drive up to the home he rented following a work shift at UPS Supply Chain Solutions in Elizabethtown. Goodman said Folena worked a 3 to 11 p.m. shift.
Goodman said he heard Folena try to get in the front door of the house and when he couldn’t get in the locked doors, he went around to the back of the house, where Goodman said Rick Fisher and Lisa Harvey were waiting for him the night of June 6, 2018.
“He went out back and they jumped him,” Goodman said. “I peeked out and saw it.”
He said the sounds of Folena being beaten “sounded like someone was smashing a pumpkin. Rick was hitting him.”
Goodman said he watched out of a window for about 10 seconds and then moved away from what he was seeing. Testimony earlier in the day indicated a baseball bat and a long metal tool were found on the property and are evidence in the case.
Fisher, 44, of Louisville and Harvey, 51, of Elizabethtown are charged with Folena’s murder and tampering with physical evidence.
Goodman, who is expected to face cross examination at 9 a.m. today from attorneys for Fisher and Harvey, said he and Fisher lived in the home and in a barn and garage on the property for several days without Folena knowing it.
He described his relationship with Harvey as “friends with benefits.”
Goodman said he, Fisher and Harvey would message each other about Folena’s whereabouts in the home and said they often would stay upstairs or in the basement and they could hear him walking around in the home.
Goodman was interviewed three times by Hardin County Sheriff’s Office detectives and has not been charged in the case.
Folena’s body was found June 9 in a shallow grave behind the home off Ring Road. Goodman testified he contacted a former girlfriend about what had happened and told her to call police.
She did around 6 p.m. June 9.
Goodman also said Fisher told him June 6 “they were going to kill Andy.” Goodman said he thought they were lying about it and then the pair talked again about it around 6 that night. A few hours later, Folena was attacked, he said.
Goodman said he told and texted Fisher he planned to tell police what had happened.
His testimony also featured vulgarity-laden text and Facebook messages between him and Fisher from Goodman’s phone, including a final message at 6:17 p.m. June 9. Authorities had been contacted just minutes earlier and the sheriff’s office is less than half a mile from the crime scene.
“Are you f------ kidding me?” Fisher wrote and Goodman read in court.
Attorneys set out a path Wednesday morning for 14 jurors in a murder case they admit is complicated and filled with various “twists and turns.”
“You have walked into a real life Dateline Mystery show that you would see on Friday night,” said defense attorney Erin Hartman in her opening statements.
A string of prosecution witnesses, including five from the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office, testified of their varying roles in the investigation into the murder of Folena, an Illinois native.
Folena was found under some loose dirt and tree branches behind the home.
It was revealed publicly for the first time in Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Teresa Logsdon’s opening statements Folena was strangled in addition to dying from blunt force trauma to multiple parts of his body, according to his autopsy. Logsdon said he was strangled by Harvey using one of Folena’s ties.
His grave was discovered by deputy Andrew Eckart, who went behind the home after authorities received an anonymous phone call for a welfare check on Folena and about a possible homicide at the property. He saw a path through high grass and then walked on a soft area of ground.
“Where I was walking, it was hard and then I sank,” Eckart said. He said he then contacted other HCSO officials to provide assistance.
When deputies arrived at the home, they found Harvey fresh out of a shower and Fisher emerging from a wooded area near where the body was located by a tree. He was sweating and dirty, Eckart said.
Harvey initially denied allowing deputies to search the home and property looking for Folena, and then relented.
Deputies found a wheelbarrow, two shovels, plastic tarps and bottles of bleach in a garage and barn. When authorities called to have a cadaver dog brought to the property, Deputy Chief David Lee said the black schnauzer hit on the wheelbarrow and then by the grave shortly after arriving.
“The dog went to the turned up ground and sat down and then got down and whined and barked,” Lee said.
He had been told by the dog’s trainer it would bark when it hit on a decomposing human body. The dog barked at two locations, Lee said.
Lee then brushed away some of the loose dirt and he testified it revealed the stomach of a buried person, later determined to be Folena. Authorities have said prior to trial Folena had been dead a few days before being found.
Hartman, who represents Fisher, said in her opening statement Fisher’s DNA wouldn’t be found on any case evidence.
“It wasn’t found anywhere near the crime scene,” she said. “People who may come in here have told so many stories and so many versions that I have no idea what they will say.”
If convicted, Fisher and Harvey could spend the rest of their lives in prison. Fisher, who was on probation for a drug offense, also is charged with a probation violation.
Harvey’s attorney Ashley Michael said Folena “deserves justice.”
“You’re not going to give him justice by convicting Lisa Harvey of murder,” she said in her opening statement. She said the case has been described as a “love triangle.”
“Lisa Harvey is no angel,” Michael said. “This is a love square. She was involved with Andrew Folena, Mr. Fisher and Mr. Goodman. You may call her a loose woman, but not a murderer.”
Fisher and Harvey were arrested June 10 and have been held at the Hardin County Detention Center on $500,000 cash bonds.