Thursday, February 3, 2011
Murder Trial Moved To Putnam County
Publicity surrounding a murder case against a Clay County man has caused the case to be heard in Putnam County later this year. Billy Jason Hancock is accused of the kidnapping and murder of Jennifer Hughes Cornell of Hilham in 2008. He has been in prison since October of that year, and was scheduled to go on trial in Clay County this month, but his newly appointed public defender requested a change of venue and a delay in the start of the trial, so that he could become more familiar with the case. Judge David Patterson granted that motion, setting the case for trial in Putnam County, starting on June 20th. Cornell's body was found in a sinkhole near Hancock's property. As for a motive, family members said that Hancock had approached Cornell, saying he wanted a relationship with her 16-year-old daughter. And when he agreed, but then refused to take a paternity test, Cornell reportedly filed a child support suit against him and later proved that he was the father of her child and began asking him for child support.