TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

July 29, 2013

Trial set for Walker couple charged in Knox murder


TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

CORBIN — By John L. Ross / Staff Writer

Former Stinking Creek Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jesse Jaynes, 45, and his wife, 39-year-old Angela Jaynes, a former nurse, both of Walker, made another appearance in Knox County Circuit Court Friday for a pretrial conference.

The couple both face murder charges in the shooting death of James Cox, 35 — and now they have a trial date set.

Cox was found dead from two gunshot wounds on the Jaynes’ property Dec. 27, according to Kentucky State Police Trooper Shane Jacobs.

The Jaynes were among the first cases to be heard by Judge Gregory Lay Friday — both stood together at the podium, handcuffed in ankle shackles.

No looks or words were exchanged between the pair during their conference.

Jesse Jaynes is represented by Attorney Samuel Castle, while Angela Jaynes’ attorney is Christy Love.

Almost immediately into their hearing, Commonwealth’s Attorney Jackie Steele, Love and Castle met in “silent conference” at Lay’s bench.

During their last court appearance, Steele explained the state was waiting on a report concerning Angela Jaynes, who had been in the custody of the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center in La Grange.

Once the silent conference ended, Love and Castle returned to their respective defendants with paperwork to review.

Castle then again attempted to address the issue of bond for Jesse Jaynes. “(He) cannot post that,” Castle said. “He’s never been in trouble before, (and) has spent his life in the community helping people.”

He added that Jesse Jaynes “was not a flight risk.”

“I’ve already ruled (on that),” Lay said, adding that if it were something for Castle to pursue, he would need to file a written motion.

The trial is now set for Dec. 10. A final pretrial conference is slated for Dec. 5.

According to the circuit clerk’s office, one additional pretrial conference is scheduled for Oct. 25.

The Jaynes remain jailed on a $100,000 cash bond each.

The couple, who resided at their home on Bailey Branch Road near the Mills community where Cox was killed, originally led detectives to believe Cox’s death was self-defense, according to Kentucky State Trooper Shane Jacobs.

But soon after, Jacobs explained the KSP investigation and Detective Mark Mefford discovered information which led to arrest warrants the following week.

“Based on statements and the investigation, we feel Angela Jaynes and Mr. Cox had a relationship at one point,” Jacobs said after the arrests, adding police believe both Jaynes were involved in Cox’s murder.

During a January hearing, Mefford was the sole witness called to testify. He said that Jesse Jaynes told him he had shot Cox once in the leg, alleging Cox was an intruder.

Mefford added that the two men began a physical confrontation. Noise from that fight drew the attention of Angela Jaynes, who came outside to the scene and shot Cox in the back, Mefford testified.

It also was alleged during that hearing Cox raped Angela Jaynes earlier in 2012; however, no evidence has ever been presented concerning that allegation.

Cox’s sister, Penny Shown, “was aware of a long-standing relationship” between Angela Jaynes and Cox, according to Mefford’s testimony.

He added that Cox “was last seen alive with Angela Jaynes less than an hour before” he was killed.

Mefford testified the alleged intent of Cox’s death was one of revenge — either revenge for the alleged rape, or for the alleged affair.

When questioned whether there was any further evidence of self-defense, Mefford said “only the statements they made.”