October 31, 2014

Medina
Showers
40°F

North Carolina DA’s death delays trial of Ashland man on murder charge

A trial date has yet to be set for an accused killer who was arrested at a Wadsworth motel two years ago by U.S. marshals.

Nathan Summerfield, 29, of Ashland, is accused of strangling and stabbing his girlfriend, 33-year-old Lynn Jackenheimer, while they and her children, ages 13 and 3, were vacationing in North Carolina’s Outer Banks in Dare County in July 2012.

Nathan Summerfield

Nathan Summerfield

Summerfield is charged with murder and prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty.

District Attorney Andrew Womble, whose office is handling the case, said Summerfield’s trial was delayed because the former district attorney, Frank Parrish, died in office. Womble, who was chief public defender at the time, was appointed to replace Parrish.

“So there was a conflict there, since I was Mr. Summerfield’s attorney for a short period,” Womble said. “So we got a special prosecutor — the former DA, H.P. Williams, from several years ago — to take the case instead.”

Womble said a hearing is set for Sept. 15 to take care of any motions brought before the court and a trial date should be set thereafter.

“We’ll probably see the trial in the first parts of 2015,” Womble said.

Summerfield has been held without bond at the Dare County Detention Center in Manteo, North Carolina, since his extradition from Medina County in August 2012. Police said Summerfield was on the run when he was arrested Aug. 15, 2012, at Legacy Inn and Suites, 810 High St., where he had checked in under the name “Jay Summerfield.” He last was seen July 8 when he returned his girlfriend’s children to Ashland.

Jackenheimer went missing July 3. Her body was found July 16, about 25 miles from the beach house where she, Summerfield and her children stayed.

Summerfield’s vehicle was found in Michigan a week before his arrest. Several tips led police to the motel in Wadsworth.

Pete Elliott, U.S. marshal for Ohio’s Northern District, said in 2012 he suspected someone helped Summerfield hide and travel.

A spokesman for the marshal’s office said an arrest for aiding Summerfield was never made.

“No one was arrested for obstruction in that case,” the spokesman said Thursday, “at least not in the Northern District of Ohio.”

The district attorney said the same was true for his jurisdiction.

“No one’s been charged in the 1st Congressional District (of North Carolina),” Womble said.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com. Follow him on Twitter @ngfalcon.