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Date: 10-12-2012

Jury trial set in great-grandmother murder

DNA testing is still pending in the case that accuses a Taylor County man of killing his great-grandmother with a hammer.

Negotiations have begun, however, to settle the murder case against him.

Jesse J. Durham, 20, of 102 Eads St. in Campbellsville, was in court on Tuesday before Taylor Circuit Court Judge Allan Bertram for a five-minute hearing to discuss the status of his case.

Durham pleaded not guilty to murder in March. If found guilty, he could receive as much as life in prison. The prosecution has said Durham likely won’t face the death penalty.

Public Defender C.B. Bates, who is representing Durham, told Bertram during Tuesday’s hearing that DNA testing was performed on Durham on Sept. 23 and is currently being processed. Bates said the case against Durham is complex, but that negotiations have begun with the prosecution to resolve the case. He asked that another court date be set to ensure that the DNA testing has been completed and to set a trial date, if no resolution has been reached by that date.

A pretrial conference date was set for Dec. 18, though Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Shelly Miller, the prosecutor in the case, asked if a trial date should be set now for sometime in January or later. Bertram set a trial date for Feb. 26. Court records state that Durham will be in court again Tuesday, Oct. 23, for a preliminary hearing.

According to court records, Durham told law enforcement that he had argued with his great-grandmother, Elizabeth Arinsmier, on Feb. 10 and then struck her with a hammer until she died.

A Campbellsville Police report states that the department received a phone call from Matt Blaine of Cincinnati, Ohio, reporting that he hadn’t had contact with Arinsmier, who was his 77-year-old mother and had lived at 105 Daisy Drive in Campbellsville, for a few days. Blaine asked officers to check on her.

After officers received no answer at Arinsmier’s home, they entered and found her unresponsive. She was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy ruled the cause of her death was blunt force trauma.

By Calen McKinney
Central Kentucky News-Journal

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