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Man released from prison in 2007 now accused of molesting 4-year-old

By Nathan Hardin
nhardin@salisburypost.com
SALISBURY — A man convicted of murdering his former wife and daughter in Davidson County in 1983 has been jailed in Rowan on charges of molesting a 4-year-old girl.
Jimmy Lee Farmer, 58, turned himself in about 3 p.m. Tuesday on charges of first-degree sexual assault of a minor and indecent liberties with children.
A Rowan County Sheriff’s Office report said the child and an adult were visiting Farmer, of Burksway Drive, on March 8 when the incident occurred.
The child was evaluated at the Terry Hess house as a part of the investigation, and investigators obtained arrest warrants for Farmer on April 19.
Farmer was released in 2007 after spending about 24 years in prison for beating his 28-year-old ex-wife and their 8-year-old daughter to death with a piece of wood in Thomasville, Rowan investigators said.
According to a March 29, 1983, article in the Post, Farmer murdered his ex-wife Janice Marie Farmer and their daughter, Donna Marie Farmer.
Authorities said at the time Farmer was arguing with his ex-wife over support payments when he grabbed his daughter and tried to leave.
Janice Farmer hit him and Farmer attacked both mother and daughter with a two-by-four.
Investigators found the blood-stained board in the woods near shallow graves containing the two bodies.
Initially charged with two counts of first-degree murder, Farmer took a deal that allowed him to plead guilty to second-degree murder in the killing of his ex-wife and no contest to second-degree murder in his daughter’s death.
He was sentenced to consecutive 50-year sentences in 1984.
But under the old Fair Sentencing laws, Farmer was able to earn early release. He was released from his first sentence after little more than 15 years and from the second in 2007.
Had Farmer been sentenced under the Structured Sentencing laws enacted in 1994, he would not have been eligible for early release.
He was in the Rowan County jail Wednesday evening under a $50,000 bond.

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