UPDATE: Date set for Harlan County murder trial

Justin Miller, left, and Jody Cooper were arrested Saturday on charges of murder
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HARLAN COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Update: 7-18-14

A trial date is set for a man accused of murdering a Harlan County man.

Court officials tell us 25 year old Jody Cooper's trial starts on October 29th.

Investigators believe Cooper and Justin Miller tried to cover up the death of Damiano Delaney in February 2013.

Police say Delaney was shot several times inside a home in the Rosspoint Community.

Justin Miller's case was continued until August 7th.


A Harlan County man charged in a murder case is out of jail on bond.

Harlan County Circuit Court officials say bond for Justin Miller, 29, was reduced to a $50,000 surety bond on Monday and he posted it late Monday night.

Miller and Jody Cooper are accused of killing Damiano Delaney last year.

Court officials say Miller must not have any contact with any witnesses in the trial and must attend drug and alcohol counseling as part of his bond release.

A pre-trial conference is scheduled for June 10th.


Family and friends of a Harlan County murder victim are upset a suspect in the case could be released from jail.

Harlan County Circuit Court clerks say an agreement is pending that would let 28-year-old Justin Miller be on home incarceration.

He is one of two men charged in connection with the death of Damiano Delaney in February.

Stephanie Shepherd says she was Delaney's girlfriend and has two young children with him.

"It's hard to explain to my children why their father was so senselessly taken away," Shepherd said.

State police arrested Jody Cooper and Justin Miller in February.

Miller is in jail on complicity to murder and other charges. Court officials say during a pre-trial conference on Thursday, attorneys and the judge reached a possible agreement that would let Miller be on home incarceration.

"It was almost like it happened again. It was like my heart has been ripped to shreds," Shepherd said of when she heard the agreement in court.

"I just don't have any words for it besides unfair," said Joe Davenport, Delaney's father who lives in Lexington.

Harlan County Circuit Court officials say the defense attorney is drawing up the agreement then the Commonwealth's Attorney will sign it and then it will go to Judge Henry Johnson and will become official with the judge's signature.
We were unable to reach the Commonwealth's Attorney or Miller's court-appointed defense attorney to discuss the agreement.

"I think it's unfair that a man that took somebody from me and my children gets to go home free when all we have are little simple pictures and memories," said Shepherd.

Jail officials say Miller will stay in jail until they receive a court order.

Miller has pleaded not guilty in the case. Officials say no trial date is set yet.

The other man in the case, Jody Cooper, is charged with murder. Jail records show he is being held without bond and will appear in court in November.

HARLAN COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - One man is dead and two others are charged with murder in Harlan County.

Kentucky State Police say Damiano Delaney, 30, was shot several times at a home in Rosspoint Saturday night.

Justin Miller, 28, and Jody Cooper, 25, were arrested at the scene.

State police say around ten o'clock Saturday night, they found Damiano Delaney dead in the yard of the home at 1413 Highway 522.

An arrest citation says the man at the home, Jody Cooper, admitted to the first Troopers on scene he shot Delaney.

"It's still early in the investigation, but it does appear according to witnesses, this is a drug-related case," said Trooper Shane Jacobs.

Police say another man at the home, Justin Miller, told police Cooper robbed Delaney for drugs and money and shot him.

Police say Miller went next door to Cooper's brother's home and told him. The family then called 911.

When troopers arrived, they found Delaney shot to death.

"It does appear the two suspects had shot the individual inside the residence and then had drug his body outside to the yard," said Trooper Jacobs.

Police believe the accused suspects planned to cover-up the crime.

The arrest citations state it appears Cooper tried to clean the shooting scene in the house and asked Miller to help him take the body to the woods.

"We feel these two individuals were going to relocate the body; however, we showed up at the scene and placed both under arrest," said Trooper Jacobs.

No one at the Coopers' home would talk with us.

Cooper and Miller also declined jailhouse interview requests.

Cooper is charged with murder, abuse of a corpse, tampering with physical evidence, and robbery.
Miller is charged with murder and tampering with physical evidence.

They are being held in the Harlan County Detention Center. Their bond is $500,000 full cash.


HARLAN COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Two people are now charged with murder in connection to the death of a man in Rosspoint.

Kentucky State Police say they responded to a call at 1413 Hwy. 522 around 10:00 Saturday night.

Police say 30-year-old Damiano Delaney was dead in the yard.

Troopers arrested 25-year-old Jody Cooper at the scene and charged him with Murder, Abuse of a Corpse, Tampering with Physical Evidence, and Robbery 1st. 28-year-old Justin Miller was also arrested at the scene and charged with Murder and Tampering with Physical Evidence.

The case remains under investigation.

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