Man charged with murder of Ole Miss student released on bond

This photo provided by the Oxford (Miss.) Police Department shows Timothy Herrington Jr. Herrington has been charged with first-degree murder in the missing person’s case of University of Mississippi student Jimmie “Jay” Lee. Herrington was released on a $250,000 bond Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022 as legal proceedings continue.Herrington had been in jail in Lafayette County without bail since July 22. (Oxford Police Department via AP) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — The man charged with first-degree murder in the case of a University of Mississippi student who has been missing since early July was released on a $250,000 bond Thursday.

Sheldon Timothy Herrington Jr., 22, faces a murder charge for the suspected killing of 20-year-old Jimmie “Jay” Lee, whose body has yet to be found after his July 8 disappearance. Lee was well-known in the LGBTQ community of the town of Oxford, and his disappearance sparked fear among students and residents.

Herrington was arrested two weeks after Lee vanished. Lee was last seen at an apartment complex in Oxford. In August, Judge Grady F. Tollison III initially denied bond for Herrington.

Third Circuit Court District Attorney Ben Creekmore and Herrington’s defense attorney reached an agreement for Herrington to become eligible for bond while surrendering his passport and wearing an ankle monitor, WMC-TV reported.

Herrington has maintained his innocence since being charged. In October, he filed a lawsuit against Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department, claiming he was being held in jail without direct evidence to implicate him in Lee’s murder.

Police say they viewed social media conversations on Herrington’s phone that showed conversations between him and Lee on the morning of July 8. They added that Herrington did numerous computer searches about international travel, and they found Google searches for “how long it takes to strangle someone” minutes after Lee reportedly told Herrington he was on his way to the apartment.

Legal proceedings are ongoing, and Herrington will face a grand jury, according to a spokesperson for the Oxford Police Department. Kevin Horan, Herrington's attorney, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.