Second Man Charged in Deadly Ky. Dorm Fire

A second man was charged with murder in the death of a university student, and an affidavit filed Tuesday says the man watched an acquaintance rape, beat and try to smother the woman who was found burned in her dorm room.


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- A second man was charged with murder in the death of a university student, and an affidavit filed Tuesday says the man watched an acquaintance rape, beat and try to smother the woman who was found burned in her dorm room.

Stephen Soules, 20, was arrested late Monday, a day after Lucas Goodrum, 21, was charged with the same crime in the May 7 death of Katie Autry.

The 18-year-old student was found in her burning dormitory room at Western Kentucky University on May 4 and died three days later at a hospital.

An affidavit filed Tuesday said Soules watched as Goodrum beat Autry repeatedly and tried to suffocate her with a pillow. It did not say whether he participated in the attack, and it did not offer a motive.

The affidavit also says Autry was sprayed with hairspray, but does not say how the fire began. A police document filed Monday quotes an unidentified witness as saying the woman was set on fire.

The affidavit said the two men attended a party the night of May 3 at the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house on the campus in Bowling Green, about 100 miles southwest of Louisville.

Both Soules and Goodrum are from Scottsville, about 20 miles southeast of Bowling Green; neither was a student at the university.

Friends have said Autry attended the party hours before she was found in her room.

``The two people we have arrested knew each other; we're not sure about the victim,'' university Police Chief Bob Deane said at a news conference Tuesday in Bowling Green.

The affidavit indicated police wanted to search Goodrum's car for keys to Autry's dorm room, cash, unidentified property, and ``property used in the rape and or assault.''

A judge entered innocent pleas and set bail at $1 million for each suspect. A preliminary hearing for both men was scheduled for May 19.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Mike Pearson would not say if additional charges, such as rape or arson, would be filed. The murder charges could carry the death penalty.

No attorney had been appointed for Soules, and there was no response Tuesday from Goodrum's attorney.

Goodrum's family declined to comment and there was no immediate response to calls seeking comment from Soules' family.