By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
A murdered father of four’s accused killers appeared in Knox County Circuit Court Friday.
Jesse Jaynes, 45, and his wife, 39-year-old Angela Jaynes, both of Walker, face murder charges in the death of James Cox, 35.
Cox was found dead from two gunshot wounds on the Jaynes’ property Dec. 27, according to Kentucky State Police Trooper Shane Jacobs.
Jesse Jaynes is represented by Attorney Samuel Castle, while Angela Jaynes’ attorney is Christy Love.
Circuit Judge Gregory Lay called the Jaynes’ case first Friday morning.
After a few minutes, both defendants were brought into the courtroom from the chambers area of the courthouse, dressed in prison attire, handcuffed with waist chains as well as ankle cuffs.
Love discussed a discovery motion, which Lay sustained. A pretrial conference was then scheduled for May 24.
Then Castle wanted to address the bond for Jesse Jaynes, which had previously been reduced from a $200,000 cash bond to $100,000 cash bond.
Castle said that his client “was not a flight risk,” adding that he was assessed as a “low risk” defendant.
“(He) is not a danger to the community,” Castle told Judge Lay, adding that Jesse Jaynes had been “an asset for many years” to the community at large. Castle discussed Jesse Jaynes’ contributions to the community, including being the chief of the Stinking Creek Volunteer Fire Department and working as an emergency medical technician (EMT).
Castle also added that his client “has no prior record.”
Castle requested consideration to change the bond from $100,000 cash to $100,000 fully secured. Commonwealth’s Attorney Jackie Steele objected, adding that the bond needed to remain as set.
Lay said he considered it, but ultimately overruled Castle’s motion.
“The court is not going to change the bond ruling,” Lay said.
Both defendants were then remanded back to the Knox County Detention Center.
The Jaynes, who resided at their home on Bailey Branch Road near the Mills community where Cox was killed, led detectives to believe Cox’s death was self-defense, according to Jacobs.
But soon after, Jacobs said the investigation by the KSP and Detective Mark Mefford 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, 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, saying 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 yet 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.”
No trial date for the couple has yet been scheduled.