published Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Trial date set in Cowan cornfield killing

A February 2014 trial date has been set for one of three suspects taken into custody in the March 24 cornfield slaying of Cowan, Tenn., resident Corey N. Matthews.

Suspect Coty K. Holmes, 25 at the time of his arrest, now faces a Feb. 18, 2014, trial date after his attorney filed a motion for speedy trial, 12th Judicial District Attorney General Mike Taylor said Thursday. Judge Thomas Graham severed the case from the other three defendants’ cases in the killing.

Holmes’ co-defendants John C. Lanier and Todd E. Dalton — 26 and 39, respectively, at the time of their arrests — are still being held at the Franklin County Jail.

The fourth suspect, 46-year-old David Gordon Jenkins, is still on the run.

Taylor said Lanier’s and Dalton’s cases will be dealt with as they come up or as motions are made in their cases. All four men face charges of first-degree murder and criminal homicide in the killing.

“To my knowledge, neither of them filed [seeking] a speedy trial,” Taylor said of the other two defendants in custody.

Sheriff Tim Fuller said Thursday that Jenkins’ whereabouts remain unknown. A $5,000 reward is offered for information leading to his’ arrest.

Authorities last sought Jenkins in Steuben County, N.Y., where he lived in the town of Corning, Fuller said.

“That’s the most recent information we’ve had,” the sheriff said. “He had been there, as far as we could tell.”

Fuller said Jenkins has been employed in the past as a steel worker “tying steel” in construction work such as bridge projects.

The four men were sought in Matthews’ March 24, killing after the victim’s body was found on Slag Town Road, just outside Cowan’s town limits. Matthews died of blunt-force trauma to his head and was found on his back in clothes wet from a recent rainstorm.

All four suspects and the victims have ties to white supremacist groups, according to authorities.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of David Gordon Jenkins is asked to call the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office at 931-962-0123 or the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-TBI-FIND.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569. Subscribe on Facebook at facebook.com/ben.benton1 and follow on twitter.com/BenBenton on Twitter.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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