Mary Hicks on a happier day before she was brutally murdered

Ward Groves celebrating a birthday, before he was murdered in May, 2003

By Bob Weaver

Yesterday morning testimony continued in the Ronnie Rush murder trial, before the jurors were taken to the crime scene for a jury view at 1:30 p.m.

Sgt. K. M. Streyle, an investigator for the State Police, said when he interviewed Rush he had a problem. "He couldn't remember if he did, or did not do it," said the officer.

Streyle said he built a relationship with Rush and Rush became comfortable talking.

Rush also asked a question whether or not a person could commit such a crime in their sleep.

"He (Rush) said he had a paper (from school) that he had some degree of mental retardation," said Streyle, and asked if that would help him. He also inquired how much time he could spend in jail as a juvenile.

Streyle said he got down to business and ask Rush to tell him exactly what happened.

He said Rush told him he went to bed at 10:30 p.m., the same time as Ward and Mary. He said Ward called upstairs to him to ask if he heard a noise outside.

Streyle said Rush continued to say sometime later he was awakened by two gunshots. He went to discover that Mary had been shot and looked out the kitchen window to see two men in black ski masks. They had a suitcase.

Rush then said he went to Ward's room to discover he was shot, after which he said he saw two men leave the deck and get in a car, saying he heard four car doors slam before the auto went down US 33-119 toward Arnoldsburg.

Streyle said he asked Rush if he had knowledge of Ward's inheritance, and he said he did not.

Ronnie Rush's former step mother, Carol Sue Rush, told the court that Mary Hicks was her good friend.

She also gave one of Rush's other versions of what happened the night of the murders.

She said her step-son told her that Bobby Shamblin forced him (Rush) downstairs with two guns and a knife, where Shamblin shot them, using Rush's shoulder for aiming the shotgun.

Ms. Rush was asked about the juvenile's demeanor and movement when he came to her trailer to call 911. She said "He was nervous," but went on to say he went down a hallway toward the bathroom.

His movement inside the trailer appeared important, because two weeks later Rush's parents discovered a large amount of cash under a trash can liner.

Defense attorney Baldwin confronted Ms. Rush, saying "You just remembered this today," expressing concern about the statement not being made during earlier questioning.

Ms. Rush said Ronnie would be with Ward several days a week and "Go trading with him."

Trooper 1st Class Jeff Hunt testifed he went to the Rush trailer two weeks after the murders to recover about $2,700 from a trash can, after the Rush's called him.

Sgt. Jeff Cooper testified he saw a title to a 1972 truck in Ronnie Rush's bedroom the day of the crime, after he was given permission for a search. Cooper said Rush paid Groves $100 for the truck the pervious night.

Cooper confirmed that investigators found about $12,000 at various places in the house, vehicles and the Rush trailer.

Motions were made to dismiss some of the "minor" charges against Rush, and some were granted.