Man charged with murder claims self-defense

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - He calls it self defense, but investigators say it is murder.

State Police in Knox County have charged Jesse Jaynes and his wife, Angela, in the shooting death of James Cox, 35, last week.

Monday, Jesse Jaynes talked WYMT's Angela Sparkman from jail and said he had no choice but to fire his gun.

Jesse Jaynes, 45, says he was surprised when police arrested him and his wife Angela, 39, on Sunday night.

"We had an intruder at our property and I thought I'd done what I had to to defend me, my wife, and my home," said Jesse Jaynes.

He says James Cox was on his property last Thursday night. Police say Cox was shot twice and died.

"We had an altercation, and it didn't end well," said Jesse Jaynes.

Jesse Jaynes, who was once the Stinking Creek Fire Chief, says he did not know Cox at the time of the shooting.

"It's bad, it's heartbreaking. I spent 25 years of my life trying to save people's lives. Never imagined having to be in this situation, so for me, it's heartbreaking. My heart goes out to his family, his friends," said Jesse Jaynes.

State police do not believe this is a self-defense case and say they have enough evidence for the murder charges.

"Mr. Cox and Angela knew each other, possibly had some type of relationship. Jesse and Angela, we know that both are involved in the shooting, both of those individuals have been charged with murder and we don't feel this is a self-defense case," said Trooper Shane Jacobs.

Police are still investigating why Cox was at the home.

The Jaynes are in jail on $200,000 dollar bond. The couple will be arraigned on Thursday in Knox County District Court.

"I would like all my family and friends to keep us in prayer, keep praying for us, and also keep praying for the family of Mr. Cox," said Jesse Jaynes.

The funeral for James Cox was held Monday afternoon.

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