Witness: Slaying victim ‘was scared’ of husband
By J.J. KINDRED | (email@example.com)
A former co-worker of Janas Long testified Wednesday that the woman “was scared” of her estranged husband, who is now on trial for killing her.
Jeffrey Scott Long, 50, of Maryville, is charged with the murder of 57-year-old Janas Long in the Lakemont Village Apartment complex on Cerritos Way off Alcoa Highway in Louisville on Sept. 10, 2009.
A Blount County Circuit Court jury heard from three witnesses Wednesday afternoon during the opening day of the trial.
Blount County Assistant District Attorney Betsy Smith brought in Patricia Myers, a former co-worker of Janas Long’s at Rockford Manufacturing Company, as the first witness.
Myers testified that she knew that Janas Long had an order of protection against her estranged husband.
“She was scared,” Myers said. “She was shaking and mounting tears. You could tell she was scared.”
Asked by Smith if Janas Long’s demeanor changed after she got the order of protection, Myers responded, “No, it got worse.”
Myers said she would follow her home to make sure she was safe, and at one point, gave Janas Long a flashlight for her protection. Smith presented the flashlight as evidence to the jury.
“That’s all I had in my truck. She had nothing,” Myers said. “She wanted to take it with her because she was afraid.”
When Smith asked why she gave the flashlight to Long, she responded, “To hit him in the head in case he tried to hurt her.”
During the cross-examination by Jeffrey Long’s attorney, George Maifair, Myers said she had never met Jeffrey Long and never saw him threaten the victim.
The next witness, Donette Morgan, owner of Lakemont Village, testified that she did not know the Longs personally, but knew who they were.
She testified that when the Longs were living together previously at the same complex, she was forced to evict them because of nonpayment of rent.
She testified to Assistant District Attorney Shari Tayloe that after Janas Long obtained a restraining order against Jeffrey Long, she rented another apartment for herself in a different location in the complex, but said she did not want her estranged husband to know.
“She acted nervous and was worried,” Morgan said. “She paid $25 a week to make up for the past rent that was not paid. I knew that if (Jeffrey Long) was on the property, I was to call 911 and he was to be removed.”
Worker saw Long
The third and final witness of the day, James Eisele, a maintenance worker at Lakemont Village, testified that he knew Jeffrey Long had lived there in the past and also knew Janas Long.
He said as he was leaving the complex the evening of the slaying, he saw Long from a short distance walking around the complex and near Janas Long’s apartment.
“I called Donette and said he was there, and he wasn’t supposed to be there,” Eisele said. “I called her to tell her to call the police as to why he was there.”
Eisele added that as he left, he saw a white van that he recognized as Janas Long’s on the front side of Rose Music Company, located on Alcoa Highway near the apartment complex.
A surveillance video was also shown with Long walking in the complex and toward Janas Long’s apartment, carrying a bag.
Long is being held in the Blount County Detention Facility in lieu of $526,500 bond. The trial will continue at 9 a.m. today before Judge David Duggan.