The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

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December 13, 2007

Local man gets 50 years for murder

PALESTINE — A 29-year-old Palestine man has been sentenced to 50 years in prison after pleading guilty to the brutal June 2006 murder of his long-time friend.

On Tuesday, Jeramy Lee Kennedy, 29, of Palestine pleaded guilty to the charge of murder and accepted the state’s offer of a 50-year sentence in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for stabbing 27-year-old Jerod Lee Evans to death on June 24, 2006.

Kennedy had been indicted on the charge of capital murder, but accepted the state’s offer of 50 years in prison to plead guilty to the lesser-included offense of murder, according to Anderson County District Attorney Doug Lowe.

On Wednesday at the Anderson County Courthouse, the murder victim’s mother and brother addressed Kennedy, making victim impact statements directed towards a man who was once considered a close family friend.

Choking back tears, Tamie Armstrong, the victim’s mother, told Kennedy, “You have taken away my (8-year-old) grandson’s father.

“I pray one day, Jeramy, you’ll see him again and you’ll show remorse for what you’ve done and Jerod will forgive you,” Armstrong told Kennedy.

Armstrong also spoke of the intense pain and suffering she has endured since her son’s murder.

“I wake up to it and I go to sleep to it,” Armstrong said. “Everybody (on the outside) thinks I’m doing so well.”

Barry Evans, the victim’s brother, told the convicted murderer, “You were like my brother...I won’t say I don’t hate you right now.”

While the victim’s loved ones addressed him, Kennedy, who was dressed in an Anderson County Jail jumpsuit, looked downward and appeared to cry softly.

On Tuesday, Kennedy had told the court that he and Evans had spent the hours preceding the murder using crack cocaine at the victim’s residence, according to Lowe.

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