Murder case moves forward

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By Calen McKinney


Lab testing still isn't complete in Jesse Durham's murder case. As such, his case will continue in circuit court.

Durham, 22, is accused of killing his great-grandmother, Elizabeth Arinsmier, with a hammer. He has pleaded not guilty to murder, which carries a sentence of as much as life in prison.

Durham appeared in Taylor Circuit Court before Judge Allan Bertram on Tuesday to discuss the status of his case.

C.B. Bates of the Department of Public Advocacy in Columbia represents Durham. Bates told Bertram that he is still awaiting results from testing he requested.

Though many DNA and other tests have been performed in the case, Bates asked for another laboratory to conduct additional tests. Bates said he is monitoring the status of the testing.

Another pretrial hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, June 3, at 1 p.m.

According to lab results filed in Durham's case, some DNA on a hammer allegedly used to kill Durham's great-grandmother is a match to her DNA but doesn't match Durham's. The results also state that other DNA found on the hammer can't be determined to match Durham or his great-grandmother because of possible mixture with other DNA at the laboratory. DNA testing found on a cigarette butt found at the murder scene are a match to Durham, the results state.

Durham has remained incarcerated on a $500,000 cash bond since he was arrested and charged with murder in February 2012. He is lodged at the Taylor County Detention Center.

Durham is also scheduled to appear in court for a pretrial conference on Sept. 16 and to face jurors on Oct. 27.

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