An Elizabethtown man on trial since early last week for murder in a 2017 death of a foster child in his care was found not guilty Wednesday afternoon by a Hardin County grand jury.
Billy Paul Embry-Martin, who was charged in the May 10, 2017 death of 4 year-old Hunter Payton, could have faced life in prison, if convicted. Hunter was from Grayson County and was in the care of Embry-Martin and his husband, Travis, along with an older brother and younger sister.
The jury deliberated five hours in rendering their decision.
The Kentucky Medical Examiner’s Office in Louisville determined the boy died from an inflicted head injury that occurred in Embry-Martin’s home.
Embry-Martin, 34, testified on his own behalf Friday. He described a fall from a bench and the child striking his head on the floor. As he told police investigators in a recorded interview played for jurors during the trial, Embry-Martin said he heard a “a thud” and the boy got up and said “Me OK” before walking away.
According to his account, the child soon collapsed and Embry-Martin called 911.