OXFORD, Miss. (WREG) — It has been one month since University of Mississippi graduate, Jimmie “Jay” Lee went missing, and suspect Sheldon Herrington, Jr. appeared in court for the case Tuesday morning.
Lafayette County Circuit Judge Grady Tollison decided to combine Herrington’s bond hearing with a preliminary hearing which opened the door for the prosecution to present its evidence against Herrington.
Herrington, 22, was arrested on July 22 and charged with murder in connection with the disappearance of Lee. Lee’s car was removed from an apartment complex the same day Lee went missing.
We were not allowed to record audio during the proceedings which began with tearful testimony from Jay Lee’s mother Stephanie.
Lee’s mother, Stephanie Lee, was also in court and testified that she routinely spoke with Lee on a daily basis. She said Lee texted her around 2 a.m. on July 8, and she was never able to reach him again afterward. She also testified that July 8 was her birthday.
Lee’s mother also admitted that Oxford Police told her a police dog detected a scent of decomposition, but she did not give a location.
Detectives in court showed surveillance video revealing Herrington leaving the Molly Barr Trails Apartments after reportedly driving Lee’s car and leaving it there. After Herrington was brought in for questioning at the police station, officers took a few dogs to his apartment where they alerted three times of a body in the area.
Officers also obtained a search warrant to view social media conversations on Herrington’s phone that showed conversations between him and Lee on the morning of July 8.
Investigators also learned that Herrington had a moving service in Grenada, Mississippi. They said he brought a box truck to Oxford before taking it back to Grenada on the same day.
The defense argued that even though bodily fluids were found in blankets inside of the box van, the evidence was found one month after Lee went missing and the van could have been used by anyone.
They also argued that the cadaver dogs were unreliable and vigorously questioned the lack of human remains or trace evidence linking his client to Lee’s death.
It was also revealed that Herrington went to his parent’s house and took gardening tools.
Investigators added that Herrington searched numerous times for international travel information. They also found Google searches for “how long it takes to strangle someone.”
Herrington was later denied bond in court. The court also found that proof is evident.
Tayla Carey, the sister of Jimmie Jay Lee, is grateful bond has been denied for Herrington.
“The fact that they didn’t give him a bond is truly an honor and it’s a great feeling,” Carey said.