Sentinel-Echo.com

Local News

April 1, 2013

Owens pleas to murder charge

Accused of killing grandmother

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — A man scheduled for a jury trial for the 2011 murder of his grandmother will now be sentenced on his former trial date.

Jeremy Ray Owens, 34,  of Queen Road in Lily, is set for sentencing on April 19 for beating, stabbing, and then shooting his elderly grandmother on July 27, 2011. His trial, which was postponed from November, was set to begin on April 19; however, Owens entered a guilty plea to the murder charge last Friday.

Owens is charged with murdering 74-year-old Bernice Champlin at her home after an argument between the two. Owens, who reportedly lived with Champlin at the time, allegedly beat her, before stabbing and shooting her.

Owens, who has been incarcerated since the incident, entered the guilty plea in Laurel Circuit Court on Friday, March 22. Had he pursued a jury trial, he could have received between 20 to 50 years in prison, or a life sentence. Instead, as part of the plea agreement, Owens will serve a 20-year sentence for his grandmother’s death.

Autopsy reports indicated the gunshot wound took Champlin’s life, although a gun and a knife were found beside the woman as she lay in the hallway of her home.

Owens held police at bay after they arrived on the scene. His brother, Josh Owens, left the home after the shooting and told police the then-32-year-old man was still inside the house and was armed.

Laurel County Sheriff John Root obtained a cell phone number and talked Owens into surrendering to police. He was arrested without incident.

The day after Champlin was buried, Jeremy Owens was in Laurel District Court for a preliminary hearing on the murder charge. Detective Billy Madden testified during that hearing Champlin was severely beaten in the face, in addition to the knife and gunshot wounds. He testified the gunshot wound was the cause of death. Owens was held under a $250,000 cash bond.

njohnson@sentinel-echo.com

1
Text Only
Local News
Facebook
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

How do you celebrate Easter?

A. Celebrate with the fellowship at church.
B. Have a meal with friends and family.
C. Egg hunts with the kids.
D. All of the above.
     View Results