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Testimony continues in Monroe Co. commissioner's murder | Crime

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Testimony continues in Monroe Co. commissioner's murder
Crime, News
Testimony continues in Monroe Co. commissioner's murder

On day two of testimony in the murder trial of a woman accused of killing the Monroe County election commissioner, the jury learned more about how Jim Miller died.

Miller's body was found on Sands Road in Monroe County on July 17, 2010. He had been shot to death before his body was set on fire in his vehicle.

Jessica Kennedy, 27, is the only person charged with his murder, though investigators have said they believe other people were likely involved.

Wednesday, Medical Examiner Dr. Christopher Lochmuller testified.   He said Miller died of multiple gunshot wounds, once in the back and twice in the head.  The autopsy showed that Miller was dead before the fire was set.  That fire also destroyed some of the forensic evidence that could have told investigators in which order the shots were fired and at what distance.

The jury also saw more recordings of Kennedy's interviews with investigators.  The audio quality of the recordings is poor, and the jurors said Wednesday they had trouble understanding those they watched on Tuesday.  The videos shown Wednesday were more easily understood. 

Prosecutors had said that Kennedy's story has changed several times during the course of the investigation.  At one point, she confessed to the murder, but her lawyer has since tried to have that confession thrown out, claiming it was coerced.

During his testimony, TBI Investigator Brakebill said, "It's safe to say every story [from Kennedy] has been a different story."

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Trial began Tuesday for a woman accused of killing the Monroe County Election Commissioner.

Jessica Kennedy, 28, is charged with felony murder in the death of Jim Miller. His burned body was found in the trunk of a car in 2010.

In opening statements, her attorney said that Kennedy was kept in a room for nine hours until she confessed out of fear.

Prosecutors said the Kennedy was "part of a homicide." Investigators believe other people were involved in Miller's death, but no other arrests have been made.

The first day of testimony focused on several taped interviews with Kennedy.  Prosecutors pointed out that Kennedy's story changed several times.  In one of recordings, Kennedy confessed to shooting Miller.  Her attorney tried to discredit that confession, saying it was made under duress.

Testimony will continue Wednesday.

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