No bond for murder suspect Tim Herrington, who was in relationship with victim Jay Lee
OXFORD, Miss. (WCBI) – Tuesday, Judge Gray Tollison denied bail for suspect Tim Herrington Jr., who is charged with first degree murder in the death of Ole Miss student Jay Lee.
The nearly six-hour bond hearing in Lafayette County Circuit Court shed major light on the continuing murder investigation.
At 5:54 a.m. on July 8th, police say Lee sent a Snapchat message to Herrington, telling him he was coming to his apartment.
At 5:56 a.m. investigators say there was a Google search on Herrington’s computer for “how long does it take to strangle someone?”
That was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to the evidence that Assistant District Attorney Tiffany Kilpatrick presented in Lafayette County Circuit Court before Judge Tollison.
“It’s a good feeling because a murder is not on the streets and not going to be on the streets,” Lee’s older sister Tayla Carey told reporters after the hearing. “Everybody is going to still be protected.”
Detective Ryan Baker with the Oxford Police Department was among the witnesses and says they believe Lee was on his way to meet Herrington when he left his apartment for the last time. In a video of Herrington’s first interview with Oxford Police, Herrington admits to having sexual relationship with Lee (after he is heard lying about it initially).
“Because (Lee and Herrington) were communicating,” says Lee’s cousin Laquannah Beasley. “On text messaging, phone calls or whatever.”
Oxford Police obtained a copy of a Snapchat conversation between Lee and Herrington, and Detective Baker says the last location it shows for Lee is near Herrington’s apartment at Lafayette Place.
Oxford Police say cadaver dogs were alerted to the smell of a dead body inside Herrington’s apartment, personal vehicle and work truck.
Herrington’s attorney Kevin Horan questioned the qualifications of the cadaver dogs, especially their record for successfully locating a body, since this was the only trace evidence the prosecution presented.
“It is not yet over,” Carey says, echoing Detective Baker. “The investigation is still yet going on and this is only the beginning of a new journey.”
Kilpatrick also showed video of Lee’s car being driven into the Molly Barr Trails apartment complex. Seconds later, a man that police identify as Herrington, is seen walking across the screen.
Police later obtained a warrant to search Herrington’s apartment and ran a forensic analysis on his laptop, which revealed his Google search history.
“Everybody that’s out there, keep us in your prayers and keep us uplifted,” Carey says. “We know the truth now and it’s kind of like a weight lifted off of our shoulders.”
In addition to Herrington’s mother, the defense brought up a series of church leaders and former teachers to speak on behalf of Herrington’s character and reliability, saying that they did not believe the murder suspect would be a flight risk.
Herrington’s family and attorneys were not available for comment.