TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local News

April 22, 2013

Murder nets 20-year sentence

Owens charged in death of his grandmother who was stabbed, shot and beaten

CORBIN — By John L. Ross / Staff Writer

“Appalling.”

That’s the word Judge Tom Jensen used to describe Jeremy Owens murdering his grandmother, 74-year-old Bernice Champlin.

Owens officially received 20 years in prison for her death. In March, a plea agreement was reached that included Owens pleading guilty to her murder.

On Friday afternoon, Owens appeared for his sentencing hearing with his defense attorney, Ken Sizemore.

Owens murdered his grandmother in July 2011 after a verbal argument with her, according to Laurel County Sheriff John Root.

An autopsy report states Champlin suffered several severe stab wounds, had been beaten around her face, and was ultimately shot in the head.

When a handcuffed Owens stepped into the courtroom, he attempted to make visual contact with someone in the gallery.

But before contact was made, a bailiff pointed, forcing him to look toward the judge.

No statements were offered by Sizemore or Owens concerning the sentence.

At the time of her murder, Owens resided with the victim on Queen Road.

“This is just appalling,” Jensen said after his sentence. “The way she treated you, and the way she provided for you — and then this.”

He added that Owens was “fortunate” that further, harsher punishment had not been levied, and mentioned a letter he had received from Champlin’s family members. “(We have) to protect the public,” Jensen said.

After the brief court appearance, Owens was remanded back into custody at the Laurel County Correctional Center.

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