Man appears in court on murder charge


Tyler Jones enters Livingston District Court on Tuesday morning for his arraignment. Jones faces a murder charge in the death of Boaz teen Peyton Hurt. A judge set a preliminary hearing in the case for Thursday.

SMITHLAND -- The Ledbetter man accused of shooting and killing a 15-year-old girl Saturday appeared in court, where a judge dismissed an assault charge against him and arraigned him on one count of murder.

Tyler Paxton Jones, 19, is charged in the death of Peyton Hurt, 15, of Boaz.

District Judge James Redd advised Jones of his rights and set his bond at $1 million. Jones had been held on $25,000 bond on the first-degree assault charge he faced before Hurt was pronounced dead.

Jones told Redd he had hired Paducah defense attorney Will Kautz.

A Kentucky State Police citation alleges the shooting occurred at a party on Cindy Drive in Ledbetter shortly after 8 p.m. Saturday.

Multiple witnesses identified Jones as the shooter, according to the citation.

Witnesses told state police that at one point Jones had a dispute with Hurt about accusations that he had been cheating on his fiancee, Alexis Johnson. The citation also states Jones was observed at one point in a "fit of rage," and that alcohol and drugs were involved in the incident.

Johnson also has been charged with hindering apprehension, related to the case.

The citation against Johnson accuses her of initially giving false statements to officers. She is set to be arraigned on that charge Thursday.

Kautz said after the hearing that he didn't believe a murder charge was supported in the case.

"I can understand why he's charged with murder, but I think at the end of the day he won't be convicted of it," Kautz said.

"There is a big difference between murder and second-degree manslaughter, and there's even a bigger difference between murder and reckless homicide."

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