No evidence and no body — Mississippi man charged with missing Ole Miss student’s murder demands court hearing

Published 9:47 am Wednesday, October 5, 2022

After being held more than 70 days without bail or an indictment, the man arrested the death of Jay Lee has filed a writ of habeas corpus against the Lafayette County Sheriff.

Attorneys for Shelton Timothy Herrington Jr. on Monday filed the petition in Circuit Court against Sheriff Joey East, seeking Herrington’s release on reasonable bail and a hearing on the charges against him.

Herrington was arrested July 22 and charged with felony murder in connection with the disappearance of Lee, a University of Mississippi student who disappeared July 8.

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According to the court filings, a grand jury “failed to indict Herrington for murder, or any other crime,” in connection with Jay Lee’s disappearance…”

The writ states that Herrington has no prior convictions and “there is no evident proof or substantial presumption that Mr. Herrington committed the alleged offense as indicated by the lack of an indictment in this matter and the State’s apparent failure to pursue prosecution to pursue said indictment.”

Lee’s body has never been found, although extensive searches have been conducted in the area he was last seen and in areas throughout Lafayette County.

“… The State argued that proof was evident and the presumption great that Mr. Herrington murdered Jay Lee despite the fact that they have still produced no evidence of any crime or any evidence that Jay Lee is dead besides the fact that he has not been heard from,” the court document states.

The court filing also states “there is clearly reasonable doubt in this case due to the lack of any physical evidence and the questionable validity of potentially scientifically flawed, and/or potentially legally inadmissible circumstantial evidence.”

Herrington was denied bail in an Aug. 9 hearing in which prosecutors laid out their theory for the crime and defense presented character witnesses. The filing says the court “ignored the provided letters of support submitted on Mr. Herrington’s behalf, ignored the testimony of prominent citizens of Grenada County, and denied bond in a manner inconsistent with other Murder cases in this district where much more substantial evidence exists, including actual admissions and confessions.”

This is a developing story and we will continue to update as information is available. Read the court documents here.