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Murder case continued, January hearing scheduled

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By Calen McKinney

 

Even though his trial date is three months away, attorneys in the case say Jesse Durham likely won't face a jury in February.

DNA testing is still pending in the case that accuses Durham, 20, of 102 Eads St., of killing his great-grandmother with a hammer.

Durham's case was called Tuesday before Taylor Circuit Court Judge Allan Bertram for a status update.

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 performed two months ago is still being processed.

Bertram asked if the results are needed before the case against Durham can be negotiated during a mediation conference.

Bates said he would like to set another pretrial conference in the case to see if results are back. Though it was discussed, no mediation hearing date was set.

During a hearing last month, Bertram set Durham's trial for Feb. 26. At last Tuesday's hearing, Bates said that date was set as an attempt to speed up the DNA testing process. He said he doesn't believe that date will be the day Durham actually faces a jury.

Bertram set another pretrial hearing in Durham's case for 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8.

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.

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