Man charged with threatening witness in Monroe Co. murder trial

Man charged with threatening witness in Monroe County murder trial

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Jessica Kennedy Jessica Kennedy
Adam Toepher (source: Monroe County Sheriff's Office) Adam Toepher (source: Monroe County Sheriff's Office)

BY STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

MADISONVILLE (WATE) - A potential witness was arrested and charged with threatening another witness Tuesday in the trial of Jessica Kennedy for the murder of a Monroe County election official. 

Adam Toepher allegedly pulled Jaclyn Farrar's hair Monday and said his hand print was going to be on the back of her head. On Tuesday, he allegedly said Farrar was going to be next in the trunk.

The burned body of Monroe County Election Commission Chairman Jim Miller was found in July 2010 in the trunk of his burning car.

Kennedy's sister, Ashley Sturgill, told Special Judge Walter Kurtz she heard the threat so the judge had Toepher taken into custody and charged with criminal contempt.

Officials say Toepher was also arrested Monday at the courthouse for public intoxication.

The defendant in this case, Jessica Kennedy, 28, is charged with shooting Miller and then burning his body.

In the state's opening statement, a prosecutor said they believe there's no question Kennedy acted with other people, but they're focusing on her involvement.

In the defense's opening statement, attorney John Eldridge portrayed Kennedy as being stuck behind bars and interviewed too often by investigators, naming different people she thought were involved in the case.

Kennedy told investigators, among other things, that people from the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, were involved.

The defense said the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation didn't follow through when Kennedy mentioned the name of Detective Mike Morgan.

The first witness, former TBI Agent Detective Barry Breakbill testified that he followed his line of questioning. He investigated the crime scene and interviewed Kennedy.

"She said she had to help bend his legs to get him in the trunk," Breakbill said. "Well I know based on the crime scene from what I saw that day from how he was put in the trunk, his legs had to be bent."

The jurors saw video of Kennedy being questioned and saying she was there at the time of Miller's murder. They also heard audio tapes where Kennedy says she wasn't involved.

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