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Brian Keith MOORE





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Kidnapping - Robbery
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: August 10, 1979
Date of birth: December 16, 1957
Victim profile: Virgil Harris, 79
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on November 29, 1984

United States Court of Appeals
For the Sixth Circuit

opinion 03-6105

MOORE, BRIAN, DOB 12-16-57, was sentenced to death November 29, 1984 in Jefferson County for kidnapping, robbery and the murder of 79 year old Virgil Harris on August 10, 1979 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Mr. Harris was returning to his car from a grocery store parking lot when he was abducted, driven to a wooded area of Jefferson County and killed.


In Jefferson County in 1979, this killer kidnapped, robbed, and executed an elderly man who begged for his life. The killer drew a gun on the victim as he was returning to his car in a grocery store parking lot. He commandeered the car and threw the victim down an embankment several miles away.

The killer then shot the victim from point blank range on the top of the head, in the face below the right eye, inside the right ear, and behind the right ear.

He returned hours later to remove a wristwatch from the body. The victim had been on his way to celebrate his 77th birthday with his adult children.


Virgil Harris


A truly weird development out of Kentucky

Capital Defense Weekly

May 19th, 2008

Brian Keith Moore is on death row in Kentucky for a murder he says he didn’t commit.

In 2006, Moore became the first Kentucky death row inmate to win DNA testing when a judge ordered an examination of multiple pieces of clothing that the Commonwealth claims Moore was wearing when the murder was committed.

Lab techs discovered enough DNA to be tested, or so they announced two weeks ago. Under Kentucky law, however, the DNA testing was to be done in the Kentucky State Police Crime Lab.

The Louisville Courier Journal notes the Assistant Attorney General representing the Commonwealth ordered, apparently with a judge’s order, for the State Police Crime Lab to stop the testing just hours before the results were to be returned:

With Kentucky lab technicians just hours away from completing DNA testing that could exonerate death row inmate Brian Keith Moore in the 1979 murder of a Louisville man, the testing was halted at the request of state prosecutors last week, Moore’s attorney said.

Prosecutors with the state attorney general’s office asked the Kentucky State Crime Lab to stop tests on DNA evidence found on the clothing reportedly worn by the killer in the slaying of Virgil Harris, saying a DNA sample taken from Moore might not have been obtained properly.


Hearing Thursday on lost evidence in death row case

Lexington Herald-Leader

August 21, 2007

Prosecutors in a Kentucky death row case have said they are not able to find crucial evidence that was alleged to place the defendant, Brian Keith Moore, at the crime scene. Moore has said that he was framed by the actual perpetrator and has been granted access to DNA testing in order to determine whether clothing found at the scene belong to the alternate suspect – who has since died.

In legal papers filed in 2006, prosecutors said pants and shoes from the crime scene were available for testing. But now, they say they can’t find the evidence – and defense attorneys are asking a judge to overturn Moore’s death sentence. A hearing in the matter is scheduled for Thursday. Although the Innocence Project is not involved in the Moore case, Staff Attorney Vanessa Potkin discusses evidence preservation in an article in today’s Lexington Herald-Leader:

Old evidence was found after multiple searches in recent cases in Virginia, New Jersey and New York, Potkin said. In the New York case, Alan Newton waited 11 years for a rape kit to be located and was released in 2006 after serving 21 years of a 40-year sentence.

Maryland's highest court last week ordered prosecutors to keep searching for evidence that could be tested in a 33-year-old murder.

"Evidence just doesn't disappear," Potkin said. "You really need to be diligent. In this case, the significance could be life or death."


Brian Moore



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