Possible New Suspects In Dishon Case Deny Involvement

(SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky., October 15th, 2002, 10:30 a.m.) -- Two men accused of being with a Bullitt County teen the night before she disappeared have denied any involvement in her death three years ago.

James Coulter and Jason Dunford, both 22, told The Courier-Journal that while Coulter sold illegal drugs to Jessica Dishon earlier that day, they didn't see her after that.

Dishon's partially clothed body was found in September 1999 in woods about seven miles from her home, 17 days after she disappeared. She had been beaten and strangled.

Jason Krages, a friend of Dishon's, has told police that Coulter and Dunford were at a party with Dishon just hours before she disappeared. And when he saw the men the next day, Krages told police, Coulter's arm and Dunford's face were scratched.

Police interviewed Dunford on Monday at the Bullitt County Sheriff's Department. He was arrested Sunday on outstanding drug possession and theft warrants after being stopped while driving with a suspended license.

Coulter, in a phone interview with the newspaper, said Krages' accusations were "pretty much all false."

"I just barely knew the girl," Coulter said. "I met her two or three times."

Dunford, who declined to comment from jail on Monday, left a voicemail message for a reporter at The Courier-Journal, denying being at a party with Jessica or having any involvement in her disappearance. Dunford confirmed through Bullitt County jailer Danny Fackler Monday that he had left the message.

Krages' accusations, which were discovered three months ago in a police videotape that had been misplaced, led to a delay in the trial of David "Bucky" Brooks. He is charged with murdering Dishon, who was 17. His trial is now set for Jan. 8.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)