, Corbin, KY

January 21, 2013

Trial date set for man in grandmother murder case

The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — By John L. Ross / Staff Writer

A trial date has been set for a man charged with murdering his grandmother.

Jeremy Owens, 33, appeared in Laurel County Circuit Court Friday before Judge Tom Jensen.

Owens faces a murder charge in the death of Bernice Champlin, 74, of Lily. His trial date is set for 9 a.m. April 9.

Little was said by Commonwealth’s Attorney Jackie Steele or by Owens’ defense attorney during Owens’ five-minute court appearance Friday.

Owens was indicted for Champlin’s murder Sept. 16, 2011, and pleaded not guilty Aug. 2, 2011.

Owens was arrested earlier that year on July 27, the same day Champlin’s body was found in the hallway of her Queen Road residence.

Autopsy reports state Champlin was stabbed numerous times, severely beaten in her face, and shot in the head.

Owens was living with his grandmother when she was murdered. When Laurel County Sheriff’s Department deputies arrived at the home the day she died, Owens’ brother, Josh Owens, told them Jeremy Owens was barricaded inside the house, armed with a gun.

After Sheriff John Root contacted Owens by telephone to surrender, he was arrested on the front porch of Champlin’s home.

During his interview, deputies said that Owens said he got into a verbal argument with his grandmother, which then led to the fatal confrontation.

Owens remains jailed in the Laurel County Correctional Center under a $250,000 cash bond.