Crime

Jail inmate found nearly 2 weeks after failing to return

In a hand-written letter to a District Court judge, Fayette County jail inmate Trina Hurst had promised to return if she was allowed to attend the trial of the man accused of killing her father.

"I will not disappoint you," she wrote to Judge Megan Lake Thornton. "I want you to see that I am becoming a healthy and responsible adult, worthy of your trust in this situation."

But Hurst, who was allowed out of custody Sept. 6, didn't return by her own choice. She was arrested on a second-degree escape warrant Monday night, nearly two weeks after she was scheduled to report back to jail.

Hurst, 31, is the daughter of Edgar T. Hurst, who was found beaten to death in Lexington in a shallow grave at a makeshift campsite last year. Timothy Meskimen, 39, was convicted of second-degree manslaughter Sept. 9.

In her letter, filed in Fayette District Court on Sept. 2, Hurst told Thornton that her mother was not a part of her life and that her father "was the only parent I have ever known" and "my best friend."

She said that her father's death was devastating and that attending Meskimen's trial would "help give me some closure so that I can ... begin to heal from losing him in such an abrupt and violent manner."

Attorneys said Edgar Hurst and Meskimen met for the first time after Hurst left home to buy cigarettes on March 27, 2010. Hurst accompanied Meskimen, described by police as a drifter, to the makeshift campsite near North Broadway and Interstate 75, where they shared some whiskey before the beating.

Trina Hurst attended the first day of Meskimen's trial. She left the courtroom in tears as jurors were being shown photos of her father's injuries. Hurst was supposed to return to the jail after attending the trial, but she didn't.

Deputies, acting on a tip, found her at a shopping center in Harrison County about 7:45 p.m. Monday, Fayette County Sheriff Kathy Witt said.

It wasn't clear where Hurst had been since her court appearance.

Jail officials said Hurst declined a request for an interview.

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