Trial date set for Jeb Daly, accused of murdering girlfriend Jessica Dana in June
06/25/12-Northampton-Staff Phot by Dave Roback- Jeb Daly of Huntington appears in Hampshire District Court in Northampton in connection with the disappearence of Jessica Dana of Huntington. Purchase photo reprints »
NORTHAMPTON — Prosecutors say Jeb Daly, the Huntington man accused of beating and strangling girlfriend Jessica Dana to death in June, may face trial in August.
Daly has been held without the right to bail since his arrest after Dana’s body was discovered in a cardboard box behind the couple’s Rocky Brook Drive home.
Daly has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and misleading authorities.
Daly was the last adult to be seen with Dana on the night of June 22, according to prosecutors.
Dana was a mother of three. Two of the children were fathered by Daly, the other from a previous relationship. All three children are in the care of relatives, according to the Northwestern district attorney’s office.
A hearing to determine if Daly will be compelled to turn over DNA evidence is scheduled for Jan. 15, said Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Jeremy Bucci.
According to court records and police reports, the couple began to argue about money and drug after hosting a party at their home June 22. Daly’s cocaine use was allegedly a source of discontent for the couple, who had been together about five years, prosecutors said.
When family members hadn’t heard from Dana the day after the party, Daly told them she had left the house following a fight and hadn’t returned, although she had left her children, shoes, purse and phone behind.
On June 24, while Dana was still missing, police interviewed Daly at home while friends and relatives searched the property and found Dana’s body wrapped in blankets in a cardboard box that had contained the family’s inflatable pool.
Once the body was discovered, Daly fled the house, triggering a manhunt that lasted into the evening.
Daly contacted a family member about 7:15 p.m. asking to be picked up so he could turn himself in, according to court records.