TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local News

May 28, 2013

Former fire chief appears in court for murder charge

CORBIN — By John L. Ross / Staff Writer

A former fire chief and his wife, a former nurse, were slated for a pretrial conference 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.

Jesse Jaynes appeared alone Friday before Judge Gregory Lay, and it was later learned Angela Jaynes remains in the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center in La Grange.

Little was discussed during the very brief court appearance, and Jesse Jaynes was remanded into custody after court.

Cox, a father of four, 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.

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 KSP investigation 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 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, 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.

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