Durham murder trial delayed again

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By Calen McKinney


Jesse Durham won't face a jury in October after all.

Durham, 21, the Campbellsville man accused of killing his great-grandmother with a hammer and assaulting a jail deputy while incarcerated, appeared in court on Tuesday for another hearing in his murder case.

At the hearing, Public Defender C.B. Bates, who is representing Durham, told Taylor Circuit Court Judge Allan Bertram that the public defender's investigator has resigned.

As such, Bates said, his office won't have an investigator after this week to help with criminal cases. He said his office plans to hire another investigator.

Bertram said if Durham's trial can't begin Oct. 29, as it was scheduled, he can't reschedule it until January or February. Bates asked that the trial be scheduled for February.

"You've got to have a chance to prepare," Bertram said, and set Durham's trial to begin Tuesday, Feb. 25.

Bates has said at previous hearings that the trial could take about four days.

Bertram asked Bates if he wants to schedule any other hearings in the case. Bates said he is still waiting on results from some testing done in the case and could make some motions after those are completed.

As of now, the Feb. 25 date is the only one in Durham's murder case.

However, in the case that accuses Durham of assaulting a corrections staff member while in custody at Taylor County Detention Center, he is scheduled to face a jury of his peers on Thursday, Aug. 29, to determine if he is guilty of third-degree assault. Bates has said that trial could take a day or two.

Durham has remained incarcerated on a $500,000 cash bond since he was arrested and charged with murder in February 2012.

After being incarcerated for about four months, he was indicted in June 2012 and charged with assaulting a corrections staff member.

According to court records, on May 13, 2012, Durham allegedly refused to be escorted out of his cell and struck deputy Daniel Miller on his face.

Durham was charged with third-degree assault. If convicted, Durham could be sentenced to as much as five years in prison.

He was first scheduled to face a jury in that case on April 30, though that date was canceled.

A trial date in Durham's murder case had been set for Feb. 26. That date was also canceled.

Commonwealth's Attorney Shelly Miller is prosecuting the case against Durham.


The Case

Durham is accused of killing his great-grandmother, Elizabeth Arinsmier. If found guilty, he faces as much as life in prison. The prosecution has said Durham likely won't face the death penalty.

According to court records, Durham told law enforcement that he argued with his great-grandmother on Feb. 10, 2012, and 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, his 77-year-old mother who 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 and she was pronounced dead. An autopsy ruled the cause of her death was blunt force trauma.

• An indictment is a legal accusation only. It does not establish guilt.