KY v. Bradley Caraway: Fled the Scene Murder Trial

Posted at 6:00 AM, September 8, 2023 and last updated 6:43 AM, September 8, 2023


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Court TV) — A Kentucky man convicted Thursday of killing former University of Louisville cheerleader Shanae Moorman in a 2016 drunken driving crash walked out of court a free man.

Jurors convicted Bradley Caraway, 41, of reckless homicide and operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Caraway was acquitted of the more serious charges of murder and manslaughter, and Judge Bailey Smith previously issued a directed verdict acquitting him of failing to render aid.

Caraway, who had two previous DUI convictions, was sentenced to the maximum of five years in prison, which Smith said he had already served while awaiting trial. Caraway initially went to trial last year, but the judge in that proceeding declared a mistrial when Caraway’s attorney became ill and could not continue, WDRB in Louisville reported.

portrait of Shanae Moorman

FILE – Shanae Moorman (University of Louisville)

It took about four and a half hours of deliberation Thursday for the jury to come to a decision. Caraway will likely lose his driver’s license and be ordered to undergo an alcohol treatment program, but Smith said those consequences would be handled by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Moorman, 25, was ejected from Caraway’s black Honda Accord in the Aug. 6, 2016, rollover crash and pinned underneath the vehicle. She died of traumatic asphyxia caused by the immense weight of the car.

In their opening statement, prosecutors argued Caraway was driving his car around 3 a.m. when he sped onto the Interstate 64 ramp at the Gene Snyder Freeway. He lost control of the car, which flipped.

Moorman, who prosecutors said was a passenger in the car, was not wearing a seatbelt.

Authorities said Caraway, who had a previous DUI arrest, fled the scene and was found hours later, barefoot and without a shirt, walking along the freeway. Tests reportedly showed that Caraway had twice the legal limit of alcohol in his blood.

In the defense’s opening statement, attorney Rob Eggert argued the defendant was not driving the vehicle when it crashed and that his blood was found on the passenger side of the vehicle. Caraway’s defense also claimed the integrity of the crime scene was destroyed by investigators.


DAY 6 – 9/7/23

DAY 5 – 9/6/23

DAY 4 – 9/5/23

  • Dr. Jeffrey Springer, Kentucky’s Medical Examiner, testified that Shanae Moorman died as a result of traumatic asphyxia — something heavy on her body preventing her from breathing.
  • Dr. William Smock, LMPD’s Police Surgeon, markings on Caraway’s chest and stomach were consistent with wearing a seatbelt.
  • Phillip Hettinger, a paramedic who treated Caraway at the scene, testified that Carway told him that he had been left on the highway by a cab.

DAY 3 – 9/1/23

DAY 2 – 8/31/23

  • Jurors heard the 911 call alerting law enforcement of the accident.
  • A joint exhibit was offered into the record showing over an hour of surveillance video from inside Gerstle’s Place.
  • Two police officers and two bystanders lifted the car off Moorman. She was pronounced deceased on the scene.
  • Moorman drove to a friend’s house before the concert. The group used ride-share transportation to downtown Louisville.
  • An ex-boyfriend drove Shanae Moorman to East Louisville to meet up with friends after the concert.

DAY 1 – 8/30/23