published Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Judge orders potential witness to be taken into custody in Monroe County murder trial

  • photo
    Defendant Jessica Kennedy talks with defense attorney John Eldridge on the second day of testimony for Kennedy's trial for the murder of Jim Miller Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012, in Monroe County Criminal Court. Kennedy, 29, is charged with felony murder, aggravated robbery, abuse of a corpse and arson in connection with the death of Miller, who was Monroe County Election Commission chairman.
    Photo by The Knoxville News Sentinel /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

MADISONVILLE, Tenn. — A judge issued an order Thursday for police to take a potential witness into custody after he failed to honor a subpoena to testify in a murder trial in Monroe County.

Special Judge Walter Kurtz is presiding over the trial of Jessica Kennedy, who is charged in the 2010 death of Monroe County election official Jim Miller.

Kurtz ordered police to pick up Brandon Steele, Kennedy’s one-time boyfriend.

During the investigation into Miller’s death, Kennedy gave several conflicting statements to investigators and in some claimed Steele was involved in the crime.

Defense Attorney John Eldridge said Steele was at the courthouse earlier this week but has not been seen in several days. Eldridge asked the judge to keep Steele in custody until he is called to testify.

Kennedy is charged with felony murder, aggravated robbery, abuse of a corpse and arson.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Times Free Press.

about Shelly Bradbury...

Shelly Bradbury covers police and crime in Chattanooga and Hamilton County for the Times Free Press. She's been with the paper since 2012, working first as an intern and then as a business reporter. 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 ...

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