According to court documents Karu White and accomplices would rob a grocery store in which they would murder Charles Gross and Sam Chaney, and an elderly woman, Lula Gross.
Karu White was arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
Karu White Photos
Karu White Now
|Name:||WHITE, KARU GENE|
|PID # / DOC #:||204050 / 031945|
|Institution Start Date:||3/31/1980|
|Expected Time To Serve (TTS):||DEATH SENTENCE|
|Minimum Expiration of Sentence Date (Good Time Release Date): ?||DEATH SENTENCE|
|Parole Eligibility Date:||DEATH SENTENCE|
|Maximum Expiration of Sentence Date:||DEATH SENTENCE|
|Location:||Kentucky State Penitentiary|
Karu White Case
Karu Gene White, his half-brother Thomas Bowling, and Charles Fisher were indicted for three counts of capital murder, three counts of first-degree robbery and one count of burglary. Fisher was fifteen years of age at the time of the commission of the crimes. Bowling was also a juvenile. White was an adult. Fisher was granted immunity and testified for the prosecution. Separate trials were ordered and White was tried first. A jury convicted White on all counts, and after the sentencing phase (KRS 532.025) the trial court in accordance with the recommendation of the jury imposed the death sentence for each of the three murders. Bowling was tried later and was sentenced to imprisonment for twenty years.
The victims, Charles and Lula Gross, ages seventy-five and seventy-four, and Sam Chaney, seventy-nine, lived together and operated a small store in rural Breathitt County. (The case was tried in Powell County.) There was an abundance of circumstantial evidence linking White to the murders. Fisher’s testimony described in graphic detail the planning of the robbery by White and the gruesome account of the victims being beaten to death. The deputy coroner described the scene and conditions of the bodies. He testified that due to the extent of the injuries the victims were buried in disaster pouches.
During the course of the voir dire, White changed his defense to not guilty by reason of insanity or intoxication. He testified in his own behalf. During the course of his testimony, he stated that he took drugs, LSD being his favorite. On the day of the killings, he took LSD, he and Bowling met Fisher and he procured a tire tool from a parked truck to knock out the victims. (Fisher had testified that he had a wrench and that on the way to the store a tree limb was procured for Bowling.) White testified that he went into the store and saw the victims lying on the floor. He further testified that he did not hit anyone and did not mean to hurt anyone. He said when he forced open the side door of the store, he lost his memory. He denied hitting the victims, but said he must have.
Members of the family testified as to his mental problems, violent nature and bizarre habits.