lyon arrestMADISONVILLE, Ky. (5/31/17) — There’s a variety of ways to snag a potential murder suspect, but city police were just doing their everyday jobs.

A routine traffic stop in Madisonville led to the arrest of a suspect accused of a recent murder in Eddyville. 

Kentucky State Police Post 1 reported this morning they learned about the Madisonville arrest after finding the body of 51-year-old Lisa A. Pace at her home in Eddyville Tuesday. Police say Pace, a distant relative to the murder suspect, was shot to death.

The suspect’s driving habits did not go unnoticed by a Madisonville Police Department officer that had no prior knowledge about the KSP investigation.

In an MPD arrest report, Ernest E. Atwood Jr., 19 of Princeton, was driving east along West McLaughlin Avenue at 3:16 p.m. Tuesday, when he was pulled over after idling in the middle of the intersection near South Main, although the light was green.

MPD Chief Wade Williams said it was just a routine traffic stop.

“That’s some of the perils we do,” the chief said. “This person thinks maybe they’re being taken in for a murder, and we’re just taking them in for a traffic violation.”

Atwood was charged with DUI and no driver’s license. Police deemed he was too impaired to be behind the wheel.

KSP indicated Atwood was also driving the murder victim’s vehicle. He was charged with murder at 2 this morning.

An autopsy on Pace’s body was conducted at the Medical Examiner’s Office in Madisonville this morning.

“Preliminary autopsy results show that (Pace) died from injuries sustained from multiple gunshot wounds, ” said KSP Post 1 Trooper Jody Cash, public information officer.

According to the MPD report, Atwood admitted to MPD that he had “smoked marijuana about four to five hours” earlier Tuesday.

“Sometimes, we never know and sometimes it works out that way, and I’m glad they weren’t doing anything to injure the officer,” Williams said.

Atwood was listed as being held in Hopkins County Jail this afternoon on $51,000 cash bond.

Cash said he is appreciative to MPD that they were able to catch the suspect.

“We don’t always get a quick arrest in cases like these,” Cash said.

Doreen Dennis
SurfKY News Director
Region 2

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