A December trial date was set Tuesday afternoon in Hardin Circuit Court for a Radcliff man charged with murder after police say he struck a foster child in his care, causing his death.

Billy Paul Embry-Martin, 33, will stand trial Dec. 3. He is charged with murder in the death of Hunter Payton, 4.

Embry-Martin’s attorney, James Hafley, sought a 2019 trial date, however, Howard said he rarely goes beyond six months out.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Teresa Logsdon said the defense has been provided with 13 DVDs and CDs of evidence, including multiple autopsy photos of Hunter, who died May 10 at Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville.

Hunter had been in the care of Embry-Martin and his husband for about two months when the injury occurred. In court documents, Embry-Martin reportedly told authorities the child fell from a chair that was 26 inches from the floor to the seat.

Hafley wanted additional time to prepare for the case given its complexity.

“It is going to be a very, very difficult case as far as medical evidence,” he said. “The entire case is based on forensic evidence based on the autopsy.’’

According to an arrest citation, Hunter died from a head injury. Court records indicate there was a “substantial” injury to the back of the child’s head. Embry-Martin was the only person in the residence when Hun­ter suffered the injury, according to documents.

Radcliff Police Depart­ment was contacted May 8 by Norton Children’s Hospital in reference to possible child abuse after Hunter was transported there from Hardin Memorial Hospital in Eli­za­bethtown. When the boy arrived at the hospital, he was unconscious and not breathing, according to an arrest warrant.

Embry-Martin was arrested and charged Jan. 11 after a final report from the state Medical Exa­miner’s Office in Louis­­ville determined Hun­ter died from an inflicted head injury, according to an arrest warrant.

Logsdon said in court all discovery evidence has been turned over to the defense aside from a finalized pediatric report.

Hafley also said he will have to review medical records of the child prior to his placement into Embry-Martin’s home by Child Protective Services.

Embry-Martin has been free on bond from the Hardin County De­tention Center since Feb. 6 when an Eliza­bethtown couple posted a $200,000 cash bond and $100,000 property bond on his behalf, according to court documents.

As part of the bond conditions, Embry-Mar­tin is to have no contact with any person 18 or younger and not consume alcohol.

Jeff D’Alessio can be reached at 270-505-1757 or jdalessio@thenewsenterprise.com.

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