Jessica Kennedy sentenced in murder of Monroe Co. official

Jessica Kennedy sentenced in murder of Monroe Co. official

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Jessica Kennedy Jessica Kennedy
Jim Miller (source: Daily News Express) Jim Miller (source: Daily News Express)

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

MADISONVILLE (WATE) - A Sweetwater woman was sentenced to more than 28 years in prison for her role in the murder of a Monroe County election official.

In August, Jessica Kennedy, 28, was found guilty of facilitation of first degree felony murder, facilitation of aggravated robbery, setting fire to personal property and abuse of a corpse.

She had been charged with murdering Monroe County Election Commissioner Chairman Jim Miller in July 2010.

On Wednesday, Kennedy was sentenced to 22 years of jail time for the facilitation of first degree felony murder, 5 years for facilitation of aggravated robbery, 11 months and 29 days for setting fire to personal property and another 11 months and 29 days for charges of abuse of a corpse.

The charges are to be served concurrently, meaning the most time she would serve is 22 years.

Before the judgment the victim's family had a chance to speak. Miller's daughter Mechelle spoke first.

"There are so many things my son will miss out doing with his papaw, so many firsts that his grandfather won't be there for," said Mechelle.

Next Miller's widow, Vickie Miller, addressed the court.

"Jessica Kennedy helped murder, rob and burn my husband Jim Miller's body beyond recognition," said Vickie. "She is an evil monster."

The judge listened to both mitigating and enhancing factors then made a decision, sentencing her to 22 years.

"Would we have preferred a lesser sentence, of course, but 22 years is something she can live with and get on with her life," said Eldridge.

Vickie Miller wanted Kennedy to serve more time, but she hopes justice will be served when everyone involved in the murder is arrested.

During the trial, the prosecutor stated Kennedy did not act alone. So far, no one else has been charged.

The defense attorney plans to file a motion for a new trial to start the appeals process.

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