HAZARD—Police arrested a man on Monday evening and charged him with attempted murder after he allegedly left another man for dead in the North Fork of the Kentucky River.
Officers with the Hazard Police Department were called to the apartment of 47-year-old Teresa Karr on Memorial Drive after Karr requested police remove an intoxicated man from inside the apartment. Lt. Paul Campbell said himself and Major James East responded and made contact with both Karr and a male subject at the residence.
The male, whose identity has not been released, later told police that he had witnessed a murder earlier on Monday. After determining his story credible, Campbell said officers escorted the man to a location on the river bank, near the basketball courts on Main Street, where he claimed the incident took place.
“He tells us where it happened at, and everything he tells us as far as the scene is concerned appears to be correct,” Campbell said.
The witness informed police he had observed an individual identified as 42-year-old Larry Yocum assault another man, Jeffrey Karr, and drag him into the river. He alleged Yocum had struck Karr in the back of the head with a cinder block, and then placed the block on top of Karr's body in an attempt to submerge him under the water.
“Once he wouldn't sink, he (the witness) observed him push him down the river, to leave him for dead,” Campbell said.
At that point officers began a search to locate Karr; Campbell said he was found on the opposite side of the river approximately 200 yards away from the scene. Karr had suffered multiple cuts to his arms and face, and appeared to have a broken nose and black eye, along with a more serious injury.
“It appeared that he had a skull fracture,” Campbell said, “that there were actually pieces of skull fragments in coagulated blood down the back of his head. It was a pretty gruesome scene, but at that time he was still talking.”
Karr confirmed what happened, Campbell said, and was transported to the Hazard ARH before being flown to the University of Kentucky medical center in Lexington. Karr's stepdaughter told the Herald that Karr was released from the hospital Tuesday afternoon.
Yocum was immediately taken into custody at the Hazard ARH medical center, where he had requested to be taken during the officers' response to the initial complaint at Teresa Karr's apartment. Officers were unable, however, to question Yocum upon his arrest.
“He was very belligerent, he actually tried to spit on officers,” Campbell said.
In addition to a count of attempted murder, Yocum is also facing a charge of tampering with physical evidence. Yocum was alleged to have washed the clothing he was wearing at the time of the assault at Teresa Karr's apartment. Karr is also facing one count of tampering with physical evidence.
Both Yocum and Teresa Karr arecurrently lodged in the Kentucky River Regional Jail in Hazard.