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Lexington Herald-Leader (KY)

July 23, 1999

Author: John Cheves, Herald-Leader Staff Writer

Depressed or not, Alfred Peed Lukins knew exactly what he was doing July 13, 1998, when he shot his estranged wife to death at a Lexington car dealership, a jury decided last night. Jurors in Fayette Circuit Court convicted Lukins, 45, of murder after a two-day trial.
Judge Thomas Clark had not yet set a date for sentencing yesterday evening. For several days last July, Lukins planned to shoot his fifth wife, Chastity “Shea” Welch, 24, because she left him after four years of marriage.  He even explained his reasons for killing Welch in a letter to an ex-wife and a videotaped message for his two teen-age children.
“I’m sitting here today making this tape, knowing I’m going to kill Chastity and then myself,” Lukins said on the videotape, which was played Wednesday for the jury. “Shea just gave up. She just bailed out on the marriage.”
Lukins used a .38-caliber handgun to shoot Welch in the head, chest and left shoulder at Thoroughbred Chevrolet-Geo at 2800 Richmond Road, where she worked as a clerk. She died within minutes. But instead of killing himself, Lukins calmly waited for police to arrive. Prosecutors said the letter, videotape and loaded gun he carried into the car dealership proved Lukins made a deliberate decision to kill his wife.
That’s murder, they told the jury. Lukins did not testify at the trial. But public defender Herb West said Lukins wasn’t in control of his actions last summer because he suffered tremendous stress due to failed business ventures, financial problems and his doomed marriage.  Lukins took Prozac, drank alcohol and abused prescription drugs, further weakening his control, West said. In a videotaped statement to police, played for jurors yesterday, Lukins contradicted his earlier threats and denied going to the car dealership to kill Welch. The fatal shooting just happened somehow, he said. “I just wanted to see her. I missed her,” Lukins told police. “I shouldn’t have been carrying a gun around with me.” Staff writer Patricia Lynch Kimbro contributed to this report.