COVINGTON, Ky. -- A former Covington high school band director sent more than 100 text messages to a female student at all hours of the day -- including during class time, according to police records.
Former Holmes High School Band Director Jared Murray was suspended with pay Friday, Sept. 6 after someone reported to the Covington Independent School District central office that he was engaged in inappropriate texting, attorney Eric Deters said.
Sitting with his attorney Chris Roach last week, Murray defended his reputation to radio host Bill Cunningham.
"Most of (the texts) had to do with band-related activities, but I also allow myself to be a second father figure to a lot of the students,” Murray said. “It’s so I can tell them if they need any kind of help for anything, just let me know and I'll always be there for them."
But text message records from late August to early September obtained by The River City News show the messages went beyond school activities.
On August 28, Murray texted the girl at 6:48 a.m., "You up?" "I knew I liked you for some reason", "Girl, you're always looking nice", and at 7:18 a.m., "You already know I'll smack your ass".
The River City News reports that at 12:14 p.m., during school hours, Murray texted, "If I was twenty years younger maybe". At 3:22 p.m., "You look nice today".
On August 29, at 7:09 a.m., Murray texted the girl to say, "Morning, good lookin'". At 7:32 a.m.: "So when you moving in?" At 7:40 a.m.: "We would have tons of the fun".
At 8:24 p.m.: "These are the days I want to take you home and give you the love you deserve"
At 9:21 p.m.: "I miss you already". 9:23 p.m.: "Just know I love you". 9:40 p.m.: "Night baby doll".
During the investigation, Murray was ordered not to have any contact with students, attend any band competitions or step foot on school grounds.
“I received a call from the personnel director to say that they've finished their investigation and wanted to meet that afternoon to discuss findings with me," Murray said on Tuesday, Sept. 24.
Murray said he was then told that his contract would be terminated immediately. Murray was also told he could resign and the termination would not go into his file, according to the documents.
The stipulations for his termination were alleged inappropriate texts and a failure to complete required training in a timely manner, Murray said.
Murray claims he was trying to find a training date that matched his schedule and that the personnel director was aware of that.
“Murray is innocent of any and all crimes,” Deters’ office said last week. “(He) is being defamed by a false accuser, members of the Covington School system and members of the general public pertaining to this matter.”
Deters’ office is calling the case against Murray a “scandal” and say it involves his accuser, the mother of his accuser and a member of the Covington School District.
“The student (Murray) believes is involved in this has a long history of bad behavior,” Murray’s lawyers said.
Murray said he thinks the student’s mother motivated the allegations against him. He said she wanted her daughter out of band and he encouraged the girl to stay.
"I wish (they had) come to me and as an individual first to clear this up," Murray said.
Murray’s lawyers added that they will sue the Covington School District and are planning to go on the legal offensive.
"As I told everybody, I gotta’ look out for me, my wife and my family…I just gotta’ clear my name,” Murray said last week.
Murray’s lawyers say if charges are filed against him, they anticipate it to involve unlawful transaction with a minor.
The Covington Independent School District is not commenting on the investigation.
Jay Warren, WCPO contributed to this report
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