Last updated: April 11. 2014 8:38PM - 5109 Views
By Joe P. Asher jasher@civitasmedia.com

Kentucky State Police Sgt. Jackie Pickrell testifies during the trial on Friday.
Kentucky State Police Sgt. Jackie Pickrell testifies during the trial on Friday.
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Day three of the murder trial of a Cumberland man continued in Harlan Circuit Court on Thursday.

Thomas Polson, 37, was back in court to stand trial for the murder of Lynch resident James Feltner.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Parker Boggs and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney and Jonathan Lee handled the case for the state.

Boggs called Justin Simpson to the stand to testify early in the day. Simpson had been charged with complicity in the murder until charges were dropped last week.

Simpson testified that during the time period in which the murder occurred he had become a daily user of pills, saying he was using “whatever I could.”

Simpson said he used OxyContin and Percocet.

According to Simpson, he stopped buying pills from Polson when Feltner came back to town.

Simpson testified that he had attempted to contact Feltner many times in the days after Feltner went missing, and had arranged to get pills shipped to Feltner out of a post office box belonging to Feltner by having a fax sent to the post office by the sender allowing him to retrieve the box.

“I was supposed to go get Jay’s (Feltner) pills and return them to the supplier,” said Simpson.

Simpson stated there were no problems between him and Feltner at the time of Feltner’s disappearance, saying the two were “best friends.”

Attorneys Kellie Wilson and Katie Gilliam are handling Polson’s defense.

A cross examination by Wilson brought testimony that Simpson and Feltner were “partners” in the business of selling illegal drugs, with Simpson being Feltner’s primary source for transportation. Simpson stated he drove Feltner to meet his supplier on several occasions.

Simpson also denied selling or using any of the pills he retrieved from Polson’s post office box.

According to Simpson, the last time he saw Feltner was on the day of his disappearance. Simpson had gone to Feltner to buy pills, but Feltner did not have any.

Kentucky State Police Sgt. Jackie Pickrell testified that cell phone information had been retrieved using a forensic device used to pull text messages from the phone that had sent or received the message.

According to Pickrell’s testimony, the information obtained from cellphones indicate the last message sent from Feltner’s phone was a text message to Miranda Halcomb (then Deal) that indicated he was with a person named “Tommy” and would get back with Halcomb as soon as he “got off the mountain.” The message was sent from Feltner’s phone at 6:04 p.m.

Pickrell also testified that Polson appeared suspicious because he had told police he had not been with Feltner on the day of Feltner’s disappearance, but there were indications this was not true.

Testimony showed the last communication between Feltner’s phone and Polson’s phone occurred at approximately 1:30 p.m. on the day Feltner went missing.

Pickrell stated there were several messages deleted from Halcomb’s phone that could not be retrieved.

Halcomb, the last witness of the day, testified that the messages she deleted were deleted before she turned her phone over to KSP because they contained “personal stuff,” including possible drug activity.

During cross examination by Gilliam, Halcomb admitted she had a sexual relationship with Simpson, but did not with Feltner. Halcomb also stated Feltner would not have called the area where his body was found a mountain, but would have used the more common name “The Flatts.”

Halcomb’s final testimony stated deleted text messages documented a conversation between herself and Feltner in which Feltner said he may have to cut Simpson’s supply of pills off.

Testimony continues Monday.

Joe P. Asher may be reached at 606-573-4510, ext. 1161 or on Twitter #joe_hde

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