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Durham murder trial set for October

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By Calen McKinney

Jesse Durham is now scheduled to face jurors in August and October.

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

Dressed in sweats and shackled with handcuffs and leg chains, Durham, 21, of 102 Eads St., appeared before Taylor Circuit Court Judge Allan Bertram for a hearing that lasted six minutes.

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 last June and charged with assaulting a corrections staff member while in custody at Taylor County Detention Center. 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.

On Tuesday, Bertram asked if DNA testing in Durham’s case has been completed. The testing was ordered several months ago.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Shelly Miller, who is prosecuting Durham, said some results are back and she has shared those with public defender C.B. Bates, who is representing Durham.

She said officials have said they might ask for the DNA evidence to be examined again by other officials.

Bertram asked if jury trial dates should be set in Durham’s cases. He said he realizes the murder case will likely need more preparation than the assault case. Miller said she sees no reason to set the murder trial to begin before the assault trial.

Bertram proposed having the assault trial in October and the murder trial in November or December, or in August and then October. Bates said he believes he can be prepared for the assault trial by August.

Bates said he believes the assault trial will take one day to complete, two at the most. He asked for the trial to be scheduled to begin on a Thursday.

Bertram set that trial to begin Thursday, Aug. 29.

Bates said the murder trial could last about four days. It was scheduled to begin Tuesday, Oct. 29.

Bates said he will continue to discuss the case with Miller and could make some motions soon about some issues in the case. No other hearings were scheduled in Durham’s case.

Durham was scheduled to meet with his attorneys and prosecutors on April 19 to discuss a possible settlement in his assault case. There was no discussion about that meeting at his hearing on Tuesday.

A jury was scheduled to hear the assault 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.

Durham pleaded not guilty to killing his great-grandmother, Elizabeth Arinsmier, in March 2012. 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.