January 28, 2013

Murder trial set for April 19

Owens charged with killing grandmother

By Nita Johnson
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — A Laurel man charged with beating, stabbing and then shooting his elderly grandmother is set for a jury trial this spring.

Jeremy Owens, 33, is charged with the July 27, 2011 murder of his 74-year-old grandmother, Bernice Champlin. His trial is set for April 19.

Laurel County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the scene of a domestic dispute on Queen Road in the Lily community. While en route to the scene, however, they received another call that a shooting had taken place.

On arrival at the residence just off Slate Ridge Road, police were informed the shooter — Jeremy Owens — was still inside the home and was refusing to come out. Cautiously posted around the premises, deputies and detectives waited while Sheriff John Root called Owens’ cell phone number provided by one of the family members and tried to talk him into surrendering. After nearly 10 minutes of talking, Owens agreed and was taken into custody without further incident.

Inside the house was a different matter.

Champlin’s body lay in the hallway of the home that she shared with the grandson who had just taken her life. She was bruised and bleeding from wounds from the beating, stabbing and shooting. A knife and a pistol lay nearby, although autopsy reports indicated that the gunshot wound to her head is what ended her life.

Owens has been held in the Laurel County Detention Center since his arrest under a $250,000 bond.