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UPDATE: Charges dismissed in Harlan County murder case

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email
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Charges were dismissed this week against one person charged in the James Feltner murder case in Harlan County.

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Charges were dismissed this week against one person charged in the James Feltner murder case in Harlan County.

Harlan County Circuit Court Clerk officials say an order was entered to dismiss complicity to murder charges against Steven Simpson. Officials say the charges were dismissed without prejudice.

Earlier this year, a jury found Thomas Polson not guilty of the 2011 murder of Feltner.

At the trial, court officials say charges were also dismissed against Carl Justin Simpson.

The man who police believed killed a Harlan County man is now free.

Prosecutors said throughout the case, 38 year old Thomas Polson and two other men worked together to kill James Feltner in July 2011.

Tuesday, jurors deliberated for about three hours and reached their not guilty verdict.

Witnesses testified they saw Polson with Feltner the day he disappeared.

Neither family wanted to talk following the verdict.

Both prosecutors and defense attorneys declined to comment.



Testimony continued on Friday in the trial for Thomas Polson.

Polson is accused of killing James "Jay" Feltner in July of 2011.

State police testified about Polson's text messages he sent the day Feltner disappeared and went through them for the jury.

The trial will continue next week.

Thursday in a Harlan County courtroom, witnesses testified they saw victim James "Jay" Feltner with Thomas "Tommy" Polson the day Feltner disappeared.

Polson is on trial for murder. Prosecutors say he shot Feltner and dumped his body on an abandoned strip mine in 2011.

Paul Thomas testified he had plans to go buy drugs in Tennessee with Thomas Polson one day in July, 2011, but he says Polson was five and a half hours late picking him up. He says when Polson arrived, he asked him why he was so late.

He had things to do, things to take care of. I couldn't remember his exact words but something to that nature," said Thomas.

He says Polson did not have shoes on. They were wet in the backseat where he also saw a camouflage bullet proof vest.

Ashley Massey works at the Speedway in Cumberland. She says the day Feltner disappeared, he came into the store and bought cigarettes and then got into a car with Polson.

"He was in the vehicle with Tommy going down the road," she said.

Defense attorneys questioned whether she actually saw them on the day Feltner disappeared. She thought so but could not remember the exact date.

Another woman who lives in Cumberland says she saw Polson in his truck across from her home that afternoon and said she saw Jay in the truck.

Feltner's body was found one week later on an abandoned strip mine in Blair.

The medical examiner testified he died from several gunshot wounds.

The trial continues on Friday.

Carl Justin Simpson and Steven Simpson are also charged in the case. They are being tried separately from Polson.

Wednesday, the murder trial of Thomas Polson started in Harlan County.

Prosecutors say Polson and two other men worked together to kill James Feltner.

Prosecutors say Polson and two other men worked together to killed James Feltner.

They say the trio shot Feltner with his own rifle.

They then dumped Feltner's body on an abandoned strip mine.

The trial continues Thursday.


A murder trial in Harlan County for one of three men charged in connection with the death of James Feltner is scheduled to begin this week.

Harlan County Circuit Court officials say the trial is expected to start on Wednesday for 38-year-old Thomas Polson.

Police found Feltner's body in 2011 on an abandoned strip mine. Investigators believe he was shot with his own rifle.

Polson was indicted last year on murder and robbery charges.

State police say they made an arrest in a Harlan County murder case.

Police arrested 27-year-old Steven Simpson in Harlan County on Tuesday morning.

Troopers say he is charged with complicity to murder for the death of James "Jay" Feltner.

Feltner's body was found on an abandoned strip mine in the Blair community a week after he went missing in July 2011.

Two others are charged in the case. Police arrested 37-year-old Thomas Polson and 23-year-old Carl Justin Simpson in July of this year. They are charged with murder in the case.

Harlan County Detention Center records show Steven Simpson was released from custody late Tuesday afternoon. Records show his bond was $50,000.


HARLAN COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - The mother of murder victim James Feltner talked publicly for the first time. Lynn Feltner says her son knew both men charged in the case very well.

Tuesday, Kentucky State Police arrested Thomas Polson, 37, and Carl Simpson, 23, for the 2011 murder of James Feltner.

"It was devastating to us because to lose a child is the most horrific thing any parent can go through," said Lynn Feltner.

Two years ago, police found the body of James Feltner on an abandoned strip mine in Blair. Police believe someone shot him with his own rifle.

"What happened to him was uncalled for. Nobody deserves to take anyone's life," said Lynn Feltner.

The family waited two years for arrests.

"That was the hardest part for us was to wait," she said.

Tuesday, they got what they wanted when police got indictments and made the two arrests in the case.

She says Simpson was her son's best friend since childhood.

"I was just blown away. I'm like, how can it be your best friend?" she told us.

She says Polson was her son's little league coach growing up. "He'd use to go to his house and stay," she said.

She still does not know what led to her son's death or why he was killed.

"Our biggest thing is we just want justice for my son Jay," she said.

Lynn Feltner says now that two years have passed since her son's death, she is ready to face the accused killers in court.

"Just to have peace of knowing that they're not going to get away with murder," she said.

Polson and Simpson are scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday at 1:00 in Harlan County Circuit Court.

HARLAN COUNTY, Ky (WYMT) - More than two years of investigating lands two Harlan County men behind bars.
State police arrested Thomas Polson, 31, and Carl Simpson, 23, for the 2011 murder of James Feltner.

State police are not releasing many details on what led to the arrests; however, they say they presented the case to a Harlan County grand jury on Monday and got the indictments.

Troopers arrested Polson and Simpson around three o'clock Tuesday afternoon.

Police say two years ago, in July of 2011, James Feltner disappeared from his hometown of Lynch.

His body was found one week later on an abandoned strip mine in the Blair community.

Police said two years ago they believed he was shot with his own rifle and were searching for the rifle believed to be involved.

State police will not say what new information they got this month to lead them to Polson and Simpson and get the indictments.

The grand jury charged Polson with murder, robbery, and tampering with physical evidence. Simpson is charged with murder and tampering with evidence.

"We're pleased that both of these individuals are now in custody. We've not given up on this case and now we look forward to getting this in the court system and go from there," said Trooper Shane Jacobs.

The two suspects are in the Harlan County Detention Center. Bond is one million dollars cash for both men.

Polson and Simpson both declined our request for a jailhouse interview.


Two arrests were made on Tuesday in connection to the murder of James Feltner.
During July of 2011, Lynch resident, James Feltner, was reported missing by family members. Feltner’s body was discovered in the Blair Community of Harlan County approximately one week after being reported missing. The arrest comes after a two year investigation by Kentucky State Police Post 10.
Evidence was presented to a Harlan County grand jury on Monday who voted in favor of charging Thomas Polson and Carl Justin Simpson, both of Cumberland, KY for their involvement in James Feltner’s murder.
Polson has been arrested on charges of Murder, Robbery 1st degree, and Tampering with Physical Evidence.
Simpson has been arrested on charges of Murder and Tampering with Physical Evidence. Both have been lodged in the Harlan County Detention Center.

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