TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local News

March 25, 2013

Trial date set for man facing murder, arson charges

CORBIN — By John L. Ross / Staff Writer

A trial date has been set in 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 pretrial conference.

His trial is slated for 9 a.m. April 9.

According to Kentucky State Trooper First Class Don Trosper, Sweeney was arrested in May 2012 in connection with a March 29, 2012 fire at White’s residence on Waterworks Road.

Shortly before midnight that night, 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 — and the fire then consumed the residence.

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

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.

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