TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local News

May 27, 2014

Trial date set for couple charged with murder

Former fire chief, wife suspects in man’s shooting death

CORBIN — By John L. Ross / Staff Writer

A trial date was set in Knox County Circuit Court Friday for a husband and wife accused of murdering a father of four just after Christmas in 2012.

The former Stinking Creek Volunteer Fire Department chief and his wife, a former nurse, were set to appear for a pre-trial conference in Knox Circuit Court last month, but their hearings were continued to Friday.

Jesse Jaynes, 46, and his wife, Angela Jaynes, 40, face murder charges in the shooting death of 35-year-old James Cox.

Cox was found with two gunshot wounds on the Jaynes’ property two days after Christmas in 2012.

Jesse Jaynes was still under evaluation in January at the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center in LaGrange — but has since been returned to the Knox County Detention Center.

In court Friday before Judge Henry Johnson, the Jaynes’ appearance was pretty brief.

Angela Jaynes’ defense attorney, Christy Love, filed a motion concerning her client’s bail — but that motion will not be heard until March 28.

The couple will then appear for their final pretrial conference April 3 — and on that day, Jesse Jaynes is slated to undergo a competency hearing.

If all goes well, the trial is scheduled to begin April 14.

During their appearance in December, Jesse Jaynes was ordered by Judge Gregory Lay to be reevaluated by the KCPC — the pair was scheduled for competency hearings.

After December’s court proceedings ended, Commonwealth’s Attorney Jackie Steele explained that there have been plea offers made to both Jaynes, but nothing has been agreed upon or decided. Jesse Jaynes could not agree to anything, Steele said, until he has been officially reevaluated by KCPC.

Angela Jaynes was already evaluated by KCPC in 2013.

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 and public information officer Shane Jacobs.

But soon after, Jacobs explained the Kentucky State Police investigation and Detective Mark Mefford discovered information which led to the couple’s arrest.

“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 hearing one year ago now, 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.

Both Jaynes remain jailed under $100,000 cash bonds each. It is unknown when a new trial date will be scheduled.

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