2 enter plea agreements in teen’s slaying
Posted: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 9:40 pm
CLINTON, Ky. (AP) — Two people charged in the slaying of a western Kentucky teen have entered into a plea agreement.
Hickman Circuit Court Clerk Cathy Kellett says Jeffrey Burton and Tamara Caldwell entered Alford pleas Monday to second-degree manslaughter and abuse of a corpse. An Alford plea means they did not admit guilt, but conceded there was enough evidence for a guilty verdict. Burton entered the same plea to tampering with physical evidence.
The Paducah Sun and WPSD-TV reported that all other charges were dropped. Sentencing is set for Oct. 17.
Burton, of West Paducah, Ky., and Caldwell, of Mayfield, Ky., were two of five people charged last year in the death of 18-year-old Jessica Currin, whose burned body was found in 2000. Two others pleaded guilty to lesser charges and a third, Quincy Omar Cross of Tiptonville, was convicted in April of kidnapping, raping and murdering Currin.
Joe Currin, the slain woman’s father, declined comment when reached Monday by The Associated Press.
Jessica Currin’s mother, Jean Currin, told The Paducah Sun she will attend parole board hearings to try to keep Burton and Caldwell behind bars.
“I hope they all serve every minute of it,” she said.
She said she wished the case had not taken so long. “They could have said they were guilty a long time ago,” she said. “I hope they know they’ve got to spend eternity somewhere, but they will reap what they sow.”
After Currin’s body was found, investigators focused on Currin’s ex-boyfriend, but charges against him were dismissed in 2003.
The investigation languished for years until the state attorney general’s office took up the case in 2006, at the urging of Currin’s father.