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'This is black and white': Man accused of murder out on bail in Nelson County while family begs for justice

John Wimsett was charged with murder after police said he shot and killed Blake Martin in 2020. But he has been out of jail since then, waiting for a trial.

NELSON COUNTY, Ky. — Right now there are seven pending murder cases in Nelson County, according to the commonwealth's attorney. You've probably heard of a few of them. Crystal Rogers, Tommy Ballard, Jason Ellis, Kathy and Samantha Netherland. In all of those cases, investigators are still searching for the person or people responsible.

But in Blake Martin's case, police have identified the suspect. He has been charged with murder and there is a witness who said she was there when it happened in November 2020. Just weeks after that suspect, John Wimsett, was arrested and charged, he was released on bail and has been out ever since. 

"He doesn't deserve this time to be out. He needs to be in prison, that's where he belongs," Aarin Seward said. 

Seward is the mother of Martin's children. The two were no longer in a relationship, but Seward said they were still friends. 

"He was the best dad. I couldn't even describe. He was always there for his kids," Seward said. 

Martin shared one daughter with Seward and treated her other daughter like his own, even after the romantic relationship ended. "We had a good relationship. Anytime I needed anything I knew he was there," she said.

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She said that's why Martin pulled into her driveway on Nov. 25, 2020. He saw Wimsett was at her house. Wimsett was Seward's ex-boyfriend and Seward said she had asked him to leave her alone. 

Seward described the next few moments in vivid detail. She said she and Wimsett were in the living room when they saw Martin park on the side of her house and she went to the side door, to let him in.

Seward said, "As soon as Blake started down the hallway, he started through the threshold… he doesn't make it through, not one single word is exchanged, no scuffle, no physical altercation, not one thing. As soon as Blake came into vision here and he started to turn- John had the drop on him."

She said she heard a gunshot, and Blake fell to the floor in front of her. "John still had his gun drawn, pointed right at me and I looked down the barrel," Seward explained. 

She said Wimsett ran out of the house and she called 911. She remembered running to find help, but then she decided she didn't want Martin to be alone.

"If Blake dies, I didn't want him to die… by himself. So I ran back and I just held him. My neighbor finally came around and he was the one [who] had to tell me he's not breathing," said Seward. 

Martin died outside Seward's house, and soon after, Wimsett was arrested and charged with his murder.

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"When the officers showed up here I just repeating his address and where they needed to go," Seward said. 

Wimsett was booked into jail and that's where he stayed for a little more than a month. 

Until a judge lowered his bond. His family posted it and the man accused of murder was free to go. 

Commonwealth's Attorney Terry Goehagan said, "We don't ever want, ever want, anybody accused of murder to be out on bond."

Goehagan said his office opposed the bond reduction but there wasn't anything else they could do. In the 14 months since then, he said they've been building their case, preparing for a trial.

"In every murder case, it's on the front burner, we apply everything we have to it. On this case - if you see the file - it is probably 10 inches thick," Goehagan said.

Seward and her family said they believe the prosecutor is working hard, but they're disappointed because the trial continues to be postponed. 

"They assure me that they're fighting and doing everything they can," said Seward. "I am a witness so I can't think of many reasons why he's not in jail. I saw it happen, I saw it go down." 

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Goehagan said his office is waiting for test results from the Kentucky State Police crime lab before taking the case to court. He said it's not unusual for trials to be postponed but he understands why. 

In Nelson County, there's a question about justice and why it's so hard to get.

"In Nelson County, there are some high profile cases, I think everybody is working on those as hard as they can. We just all try to cooperate with law enforcement, there are a lot of law enforcement agencies working on all of the cases here. We feel very confident in every case we have, including this case, will have a successful conclusion," Goehagan said. 

For Seward, a successful conclusion would be a conviction. "This is black and white. This man is a monster," she said.

A conviction she hopes comes sooner, rather than later. 

WHAS11 reached out to Wimsett's attorney for comment on this story but did not hear back by the time of this publication.

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