The man accused of the murder of an Enterprise teacher has been released by a federal court with a monitoring device pending a trial date on federal charges.
Jason Glenn Starr, 45, of Daleville was arrested on Dec. 7 for the murder of his ex-wife and transferred to federal custody. Starr was charged with the use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder for hire. According to U.S. Attorney’s Office Law Enforcement Coordinator Doug Howard, federal courts handle pending trials different than state courts.
“In our system, the judge looks at a number of factors and decides whether the accused should be detained pending trial, or not,” Howard told The Sun. “The judge can place certain restrictions or requirements on the accused when he or she is released pending trial. In this case, one of the requirements was that Starr’s location be monitored by U.S. Probation.”
Starr had his initial appearance in federal court on Dec. 7, and the presiding judge ordered that Starr be released but required that he be equipped with a device that would monitor his location pending his trial. According to Howard, Starr had not yet retained counsel at the time of his initial appearance and an arraignment hearing is pending where Starr will officially enter his plea to the court. Howard also said that a trial date would likely be set at his arraignment.
Howard said that he could not comment on whether the investigation was ongoing or if any other arrests were pending.
“There is no information to share about additional arrests,” Howard told The Sun. “Due to (Department of Justice) policy, I cannot comment on whether there are any arrests pending or possible, or even confirm or deny that further investigation(s) are taking place.”
Twelfth Judicial Circuit District Attorney Tom Anderson and Coffee County Sheriff Dave Sutton at a press conference announcing Starr’s arrest on Dec. 7 both said that the investigation was continuing and another arrest of a “person of interest” was expected.
Starr was arrested following a more than four-year investigation of the murder of Enterprise school teacher Sara Starr, 36, who was the ex-wife of Jason Starr. Sara Starr was a fourth grade teacher at Harrand Creek Elementary School in Enterprise and the mother of four children. Originally from Kansas, Sara Starr had lived in the area for more than 10 years before her death. She was found dead at her home in Chancellor on Nov. 27, 2017.
Although Sara Starr’s ex-husband Jason Starr was questioned about the death of his former wife, he was never charged at that time.
A resident of Coffee Springs at that time, Jason Starr was arrested on May 24, 2018 at the entrance to Shell Army Airfield in Enterprise after being indicted on charges of sexual abuse of a child.
Nearly two months after being charged with sexual abuse of a child less than 12 years of age, Jason Starr pled not guilty and filed a formal request to the court to have his trial moved outside of Coffee County “to the nearest county free from prejudice.”
Anderson said at the Dec. 7 press conference that the state would continue to pursue the sexual abuse charges and said that the state had not decided whether it would also seek to charge Jason Starr with Sara Starr’s murder, but emphasized that the state held that right.