, Corbin, KY

Local News

May 27, 2014

Ex-nurse pleads guilty to murder

Accepts recommended 20-year sentence

CORBIN — By John L. Ross / Staff Writer

Former nurse Angela Jaynes pleaded guilty Friday in Knox County Circuit Court to murdering 35-year-old James Cox — a father to four children.

As part of her plea agreement, potentially new charges of tampering with evidence were dropped — and Jaynes accepted the Commonwealth Attorney’s recommended 20-year sentence.

Jaynes and her husband, Jesse Jaynes, have now both made plea agreements in the shooting death of Cox — and for the bulk of the court proceedings since the case opened, the assumption had been, based on previous testimony, that Cox was murdered on their property of their Walker home.

However, it was learned after Angela Jaynes’ court appearance that was simply not the case.

Commonwealth Attorney Jackie Steele explained that after Jesse Jaynes entered into his plea agreement, as part of that, he was to provide testimony and/or evidence necessary in the case against Angela Jaynes.

And what he provided, according to Steele, was an audio tape from the night Cox was killed, as well as recorded one-on-one phone conversations — all of which allegedly implicated Angela Jaynes in Cox’s death.

“It is our understanding that (Cox’s murder) happened at or near the Stinking Creek Volunteer Fire Department — and then they moved (the body) to their property,” Steele confirmed.

Steele said that Friday’s proceedings were a welcome relief to Cox’s family, who have been coming to the courtroom since the murder.

“It is good for the family that this cleared their brother’s name from the Jaynes’ justification and fabrication (in committing Cox’s) murder,” Steele said. Initially the Jaynes’ implied Cox was attempting to break into their home — and that’s why he was killed.

Then during the Jaynes’ indictment, it was learned that the defendants alleged Cox had raped Angela Jaynes earlier in 2012 — which also wasn’t true. “I’m glad for the family — they can get this behind them and move on,” Steele added.

During court proceedings Friday, Angela Jaynes was the first case called before Judge Gregory Lay. She was joined at the podium by her attorney, Christy Love.

After the process began for Angela Jaynes to enter her plea agreement, Lay told her she “could receive 20 to 50 years or life if the court accepts your guilty plea.”

He explained the Commonwealth Attorney’s written offer provided for her to serve a 20-year sentence “and then (the Commonwealth would) not pursue charges of tampering with evidence,” which allegedly occurred when Cox’s body was relocated to their home after the murder.

Lay then asked her if she did, in fact, murder James Cox as it was charged in her indictment.

“I discharged my Ruger and it resulted in James Cox’s death,” she told the court Friday.

Lay accepted her guilty plea, then scheduled her official sentencing hearing for 1 p.m. July 25.

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