Man accused of killing Jay Lee in 2022 asks court to change location of his October trial

Published 12:27 pm Thursday, June 6, 2024

The man accused of killing Jimmy “Jay” Lee in 2022 is asking the court to move his trial out of the county, currently scheduled to take place in October.

On Monday, at the Lafayette County Circuit Court in Oxford, Sheldon “Timothy” Herrington Jr.’s attorney Kevin Horan, filed a petition to have the venue of his future trial changed to another county. The motion did not specify a specific county to move the trial.

Herrington was arrested on July 22, 2022, and charged with Lee’s murder. He was indicted on a capital murder charge and has been out on a $250,000 bond since December 2022.

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According to the motion, Herrington’s defense team claims that since Herrington’s arrest, there has been “extensive news coverage of the alleged facts” and that “every step of the investigatory process, as well as court proceedings … has been widely published and well documented.”

Horan stated in the motion that he and his team believe the media interest will potentially worsen as the trial date nears.

Defendants can petition the court for a change of venue if they can demonstrate that they cannot receive a fair trial in the current venue. They must present at least two signed affidavits from “credible” people stating they believe the defendant cannot get a fair trial.

Horan submitted 15 affidavits from Lafayette County residents stating the above.

In the 134-page document filed Monday, the defense attorneys submitted about 100 articles from local media – television and print, social media pages and press releases that presented information about the case.

“There has been so much publicity about this case, that defendant Herrington cannot get a fair trial in Lafayette County,” Horan stated.

A court date for the judge to consider the motion had not been set as of Thursday afternoon.

If convicted, Herrington could face the death penalty or life in prison without parole.

Lee, 20, was last seen at about 6 a.m. on July 8, 2022, when he left his apartment at Campus Walk Apartments.

Lee’s body has not yet been recovered.

During the bond hearing in August 2022, prosecutors said the two men had known each other for about four months and had recently entered into a sexual relationship.

Lee, who studied social work at Ole Miss, graduated with his bachelor’s degree in May 2022 and was planning on attending graduate school at Ole Miss.