Glenna Wilbourn had trouble making it to the podium on her own Friday morning in McCracken County Jail to enter her plea, but once she made it there she resoundingly stated two words: not guilty.
Wilbourn, who was arrested Thursday and charged with murder for the beating death of her live-in boyfriend at the couple's Poole Road home in Paducah, was clearly bruised. Nursing a broken rib and limping in the arms of a deputy jailer, and wearing nothing but a jail-issued safety smock, Wilbourn told Judge Tony Kitchen she would enter a plea of not guilty.
Police said they were called to the couple's home just after 2 a.m. on Thursday. When they arrived, they found William Ashley, 61, lying on the ground dead with visible wounds to his head. A witness told police Wilbourn had hit him over the head with a baseball bat, swinging multiple times. Ashley's cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma.
McCracken County Sheriff Jon Hayden said Wilbourn was taken to the hospital and treated for a broken rib after being questioned. She admitted to hitting Ashley, Hayden said, but told police she had been attacked. Hayden said his deputies had been called to the couple's house numerous times for domestic disputes. It is suspected that alcohol was a factor.
Although her booking photo did not appear to show injuries, Friday morning in court Wilbourn was sporting a bright blue bruise around her left eye and was visibly limping.
Kitchen set Wilbourn's bond at $1 million. McCracken County Jailer Bill Adams said it was standard protocol for inmates brought in on murder charges to be clothed in the safety smock, which protects against suicide.
Contact Corianne Egan, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8652 or follow @CoriEgan on Twitter.