Whitesburg KY
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Jenkins man, wife face murder count in 2020 shooting

A couple who shot and killed a man they said broke into their house last summer has been indicted on charges of criminal complicity to murder.

Justin Thomas Robinson, 28, and Kimberly D. Robinson, 27, of Jenkins, were indicted after Kentucky State Police Det. Josh Huff testified before the grand jury last month and again earlier this month.

According to Kentucky State Police, about 2:38 a.m. on July 6, 2020, James Russell Duncan, 39, entered a house on KY 805 where the Robinsons now live. Authorities said the Robinsons had not been living in the house, but had come to cut grass the day before and discovered that someone had been staying there. They called police early Sunday evening to report a burglary, and Jenkins Police opened a case.

Police said the Robinsons stayed in the house that night, and shot Duncan when he came in. Sources said multiple shots were fired during the incident, but it was not immediately known how many times Duncan was hit. He was not armed, officials said.

Several police officers said they knew Duncan, but that he had never been known to be violent and had no burglar tools when he was stopped and searched earlier in the day after a store called in a panhandling complaint. He was released without arrest. Court records show no major crimes, and his last arrest in Letcher County was three years earlier for misdemeanor charges of public intoxication and criminal mischief.

Duncan was pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting by the Letcher County Coroner’s Office. His body was sent to the Kentucky State Medical Examiner’s office for autopsy, but the results were delayed for nearly a year.

According to the indictments, Justin Robinson fired a shotgun at Duncan during the incident and Kimberly Robinson fired a semi-automatic rifle.

Criminal complicity to murder carries sentences that include the death penalty, 25 years to life in prison, life without parole, or a prison term ranging from 20 to 50 years.

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