Danville Man Facing Murder Trial Dies In Prison

LAGRANGE, Ky. (AP) - An 83-year-old man who was standing trial in central Kentucky on a murder charge for allegedly gunning down his neighbor has died in custody.

Jack Caldwell Sr. of Danville died early Monday at the Kentucky State Reformatory. Deputy Warden Paige McGuire confirmed Caldwell's death but did not have the cause.

Caldwell's trial began in November but was continued until at least January because of Caldwell's health problems. In early December, Judge Darren Peckler delayed the trial because Caldwell was battling a staph infection.

Caldwell was accused of fatally shooting his next-door neighbor, Jim Trachsel, as the victim mowed his lawn in 2004. The defense argued that Trachsel rode his lawn tractor close to Caldwell, who was startled and fired in self-defense.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • by Cindy Location: Lexington on Jan 4, 2008 at 07:40 AM
    Obviously he was not so ill when he shot his neighbor 5 TIMES!!!!!!!!!!!! Too bad it took so long to get to court so the public could see what the murderer looked like when it happened. I feel bad for everyone but he got what he deserved!
  • by Anonymous Location: Kentucky on Jan 4, 2008 at 05:28 AM
    All I can say is the state can save money two ways now, NO TRIAL and not having to take care of someone in jail.
  • by johnny Location: ky on Jan 4, 2008 at 03:47 AM
    i agre with steve this could be any of our family.i belive he should have goten prison time should he have lived.but what gets me is the very people that is puting him down.is all ways asking for prayer for other people.it does not work that way,we must pray for both sides and learn to forgive.
  • by Jack Location: Danville on Jan 3, 2008 at 03:15 PM
    While everyone is watching this case on the news, I have watched it unfold before my eyes. First, I live in Boyle county where the murder happened. Second, I knew the victim Mr. Trachel personally. Third, I work in law enforcement and had contact with the accused on a regular basis. There are no winners as both families have been forever changed. While there are many issues at play here that I am not at liberty to discuss here, I can say that a life was brutally taken. There has never been any doubt about that. Should the courts just say, "never mind" because Caldwell was old? No, he admitted to shoothing the victim. The court was to decide if the act was in self defense or not. Caldwell would never had served any real time anyway. He would have been assigned to the prison hospital at LaGrange. In my opinion, justice was done here. He died in disgrace in prison. The real losers are Caldwells family that have to live with this stigma over their heads.
  • by JOE Location: BLOW on Jan 3, 2008 at 12:21 PM
    Of course he was guilty! Its not possible that an 80 year old man was scared or confused because all 80 year olds are totally with it! Now if he was, lets say 110, then we could all wonder if possibly the man was confused. Besides that, how did he have the nerve to die before he got his day in court! They need to bring his body to court everyday and finish this trial!
  • by Sherry Location: Mt. Sterling on Jan 2, 2008 at 04:10 PM
    I don't know if this man killed anyone or not. The only one knows is GOD!! Hopefully he was innocent!! I feel sorry for both families for their loss.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 2, 2008 at 04:06 PM
    If your loved one was murdered by someone, regardless of their age, you would want them brought to justice. Being old and in poor health does not give anyone the right to avoid prosecution.
  • by Bart Location: Harrodsburg KY on Jan 2, 2008 at 02:11 PM
    You don't have to be found guilty to have a civil suit against you. Consider OJ Simpson. Yet another example of someone opening up their mouth when they have no idea what they are talking about! The old man killed someone. This is never in dispute. Do we want to send a message that just because you are old that you can literally get away with murder? Old people get away with enough. Ask anyone who works at a nursing home!
  • by Anonymous on Jan 2, 2008 at 07:59 AM
    That is a shame that someone would have to go thru something like this the last few months of his life. If he did have any close family sorry for your loss!
  • by Anonymous Location: danville ky on Jan 2, 2008 at 07:52 AM
    The only reason they were pushing for the trial at this time was due to the caldwell's falling health, you need to know that mr.trachel's family have a cival suit against caldwell and before the cival suit can be introduced to the court he has to be found guilty, so as you can see its all about the mighty dollar, yes this was wrong for a man to take anothers life but its also wrong to try to collect from it, and to my understanding it's the children pushing for the cival trial. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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