Monroe murder defendant told investigators she saw shooting

Monroe murder defendant told investigators she saw victim's shooting

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Jessica Kennedy Jessica Kennedy
During the video, Kennedy spoke directly to Miller's family at one point. "I'm so sorry. I didn't know," she said as she cried. During the video, Kennedy spoke directly to Miller's family at one point. "I'm so sorry. I didn't know," she said as she cried.

BY STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

MADISONVILLE (WATE) - The jury in Jessica Kennedy murder trial saw video Thursday of the defendant claiming she saw three men talking to a Monroe County official before he was shot to death.

The video showed investigators doing a reenactment at the scene.

The body of Monroe County Election Commission Chairman Jim Miller was found in July 2010 on Sands Road. He had been shot in the head three times and his charred body was found in the trunk of his burning car.

Kennedy, 28, told investigators she saw the shooting from a porch. She said Miller was standing near the trunk of his car while the three men stood around him as they began to get loud.

Kennedy said she heard three shots, then Miller started to fall.

She said she saw the men put Miller's leg in the trunk. She later walked to another house with one of the men, got high and got into a van, and then followed the men as they Miller's car to Sands Road.

Kennedy said she was eventually dropped off.

During one point in the video, Kennedy spoke directly to Miller's family.

"I'm so sorry. I didn't know," she said as she cried.

The jurors also heard about a text from one of the men Kennedy claims played a role in Miller's death.

A detective read the text during his testimony, saying, "I will never tell on myself for the part I played in it. I save myself first."

Defense attorney John Eldridge brought up other accounts Kennedy gave about Miller's murder. He also mentioned a confession by former Sheriff's Detective Kenny Hope, who was later cleared in the case.

Jurors were also shown gold, silver and diamond rings and a watch found on Miller's body.

The defense wanted the jury to listen to three more hours of Kennedy interview tapes, but Special Judge Walter Kurtz stopped the interviews about 30 minutes in. The judge said it wasn't  necessary to hear all three hours.

In many of the interview tapes, Kennedy mentioned Brandon Steele, a witness for the state, who didn't show up at court Thursday.

Steele was arrested and ordered to pay a material witness fine of $1,000.

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