MADISONVILLE, Tenn. — The man who was found inside a burned car with three bullet holes in his head was dead before the fire started, a medical expert testified today.
Knox County Medical Examiner Dr. Christopher Lochmuller testified that he found no soot in the upper airways of victim Jim Miller, which indicates that he was already dead when the fire was started.
Lochmuller was a witness in the trial of Jessica Kennedy, who is charged with felony murder, aggravated robbery, abuse of a corpse and arson. Her trial is expected to last at least through the end of the week.
Miller, 60, chairman of the Monroe County Election Commission, was found dead in 2010.
In testimony, Lochmuller went over the details of Miller’s autopsy report, noting that he was shot three times — once on the left side of the forehead, once on the right side, and once in the back of the head.
The wounds were not contact wounds, Lochmuller said, so the gun was not pressed against Miller’s head when it was fired. But he said he could not determine the range of the shots.
He also noted that Miller’s body was very badly burned.
“The majority of the body was blacked by char, just like when you put something on the grill and it overcooks,” he explained to the jury.
Shelly Bradbury joined the Times Free Press as a business reporter in January 2013, after starting with the paper as a general assignment intern in July 2012. She is from Houghton, New York, and graduated from Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minor in management. Before moving to Tennessee, Shelly previously interned with The Goshen News, The Sandusky Register and The Mint Hill Times. Outside the newsroom, Shelly enjoys ...