UPDATE: Man dies days after assault; wife charged with murder

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Lexington Police say charges were upgraded Thursday to murder against a woman accused of assaulting her elderly husband, who died nine days after the reported attack.

Investigators say 68-year old Carol Ann Hignite is also charged with Abuse/Neglect of an Adult.  She was initially charged with assault.

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Police say around 1:30 p.m. on September 28, officers were sent to a home in the 900 block of Holly Springs Drive where they say they found 76-year old Leon Hignite unconscious on the floor with visible injuries.  He was rushed to the hospital where he died October 4, according to the Fayette County coroner.  His death was ruled a homicide.

Investigators say the reported assault happened on September 25.  They believe Leon Hignite had been lying on the floor for three days following the reported assault.  Investigators say Carol Ann Hignite told them she didn’t get help for her husband because she thought he would get better.

In a bizarre twist in the case, when investigators went to the then empty Hignite home with a search warrant, it caught fire.  The cause is still unknown, according to arson investigators.

According to police statistics, Leon Hignite was the 24th homicide victim in Lexington in 2017, which matches the total for all of 2016.

 

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.