TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

June 3, 2013

London man facing murder charge appears in court

Jury trial in death of woman case scheduled for June 12


The Times-Tribune

CORBIN —

By John L. Ross / Staff Writer

Little was said Friday concerning the case of a London man facing murder, arson and robbery charges related to the death of 50-year-old Teresa White.

Jeffrey Sweeney, 47, appeared before Judge Tom Jensen Friday in Laurel County Circuit Court with his defense attorney, Roger Gibbs, for a final pretrial conference.

Sweeney is scheduled for a jury trial June 12 — it was rescheduled from the April 9 trial date set in March.

Kentucky State Trooper First Class Don Trosper had said that Sweeney was arrested in May 2012 as a suspect in a March 29, 2012 fire at White’s residence on Waterworks Road.

Shortly before midnight that night, Trosper said a neighbor called 911 to report smoke pouring from her home.

Despite a warning from dispatchers, a window was eventually broken by a concerned citizen — which sent the home into a full blaze.

Firefighters battled the inferno until the early morning hours. White’s body was discovered inside the residence, and she was pronounced dead at the scene, Trosper explained.

He added that an autopsy showed White was killed from blunt force trauma — prior to the fire.

Trosper explained that White and Sweeney were “friends.” He added that it appeared Sweeney murdered White, then set her house on fire to cover up the slaying.

A second person was wanted in connection with White’s murder.

“In the initial investigation, witnesses in the area gave a description of a small, black SUV occupied by a female who was driving,” Trosper said, adding it appeared Sweeney was a passenger in the SUV. A second arrest has yet to occur in the case.

He was remanded back into custody at the Laurel County Correctional Center, where he remains under two cash bonds, one for $200,000, the other for $500.

He faces charges of murder, first-degree arson, first-degree robbery, tampering with physical evidence, possession of marijuana, and failure to appear.