Angela Jaynes enters guilty plea

A Knox County couple charged in the Dec. 2012 death of James Cox appeared in Knox Circuit Court Friday.

By the time the court session was over, Jesse Jaynes was sentenced to 10 years in prison on a manslaughter plea. His wife Angela, who entered a guilty plea for murder, could spend 20 years in prison, as Commonwealth Attorney Jackie Steele recommended. 

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Under the terms of his April 3 plea agreement, Jesse Jaynes agreed to testify truthfully at his wife’s trial.

At a final pretrial in April, Jaynes, with his lawyer Sam Castle at his side, entered a guilty plea to first-degree manslaughter. Under the terms of the plea, Commonwealth Attorney Jackie Steele made an offer of 10 years in prison on the condition that Jaynes agree to testify truthfully regarding the events that led up to Cox’ death.

“You do admit that you committed the offense as charged in the indictment as amended?” Knox Circuit Judge Gregory Lay asked Jaynes.

“I admit that I done what I had to do at the time,” Jaynes responded, after which Lay asked “What did you do that makes you guilty of this offense?”

“I shot a man,” Jaynes said, to which Lay replied “Would that be James Cox?”

“Yes,” Jaynes responded.

Under the terms of Angela Jaynes’ plea, the Commonwealth agreed not to go forward with charges of tampering with physical evidence and abuse of a corpse.

Mrs. Jaynes is slated for formal sentencing July 25.