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Goshen shooter claims self-defense

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By Tracy Harris

A Goshen man who claims he shot his brother-in-law in self-defense last month will face a grand jury for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Police charged Emmitt Pendleton, 50, following an Oct. 15 shooting at Pendleton’s home in the 5200 block of U.S. 42. Pendleton admitted to both shooting his brother-in-law, Richard Hild, and to being a convicted felon.

Pendleton also gave police his consent to search his home, where police recovered a handgun in the kitchen.

At a preliminary hearing Oct. 31, Oldham County Police Detective James Brown testified that Pendleton called 9-11 after shooting Hild, 63. 

Pendleton told police he shot Hild, of Crestwood, in self-defense as an argument over a utility trailer turned violent.

When police arrived to the home, located in the 5200 block of U.S. 42, they found the body of Hild in the home’s driveway, killed by a gunshot wound to the chest. 

According to Brown’s court testimony, Pendleton told police Hild arrived at his home uninvited.

A fight between two resulted in injuries to both parties — Pendleton suffered abrasions, cuts and a head wound that required staples.

Pendleton told police he got away from Hild, retrieved the gun and told Hild to leave. When Hild came up the front steps, Pendleton fired.

Brown testified that Pendleton’s injuries were consistent with what he told police — including a bite wound to Hild’s arm.

Judge Diane Wheeler said the testimony, including Pendleton’s admission that he is a convicted felon, met the burden of probable cause necessary to send the case to the grand jury.

According to court documents, the conviction is from a 1982 robbery in Jefferson County. 

In 1992, he was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, a probation violation and possession of marijuana.

Pendleton told police the gun was a gift from his father.

The Oldham County grand jury meets once a month to hear cases. 

An indictment is a formal charge or accusation of a crime. Defendants are innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.

In a similar case, a Henry County grand jury did not indict James Fowler of murder on Oct. 26.

Fowler, 57, was accused of shooting his brother-in-law, Nick Bibelhauser, on Sept. 1.

The men lived on adjacent properties in Smithfield and had an ongoing dispute about a property line, according to Kentucky State Police.

KSP found Bibelhauser dead from a gunshot wound to the head.

Fowler told police that Bibelhauser had put a gun to his cheek and said he would kill him. Fowler had a circular bruise on his left cheek in a jail mugshot taken after his arrest.

The grand jury voted 10-2 that there is insufficient evidence to indict Fowler on murder and he has been cleared of all charges, according to Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Barry Moore.

Bibelhauser was a driver for The HDB Service group, which operates Oldham’s Public Bus. 

He was known for going beyond his normal duties, bringing fresh produce to passengers and driving them to their front doors on rainy days.

One passenger mentioned her embarrassment at her unkempt yard, and Bibelhauser mowed it.

And after seeing a passenger nearly fall as she walked from her home, Bibelhauser power-washed her ramp.