Brief Hearing in Justin DeRyke Case

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Published on January 9 2014 4:38 pm
Last Updated on January 9 2014 7:02 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Just a brief hearing Thursday morning in the murder trial of Justin DeRyke.

The 22-year-old is charged with killing his seven-year-old niece Willow Long last September.

The hearing was scheduled to consider any pre-trial motions and to track the progress in preparing for trial, which is slated for Febrary 10.

Public Defender Scott Schmidt said he is still receiving information "here and there" from prosecutors on the case, so has delayed filing any pre-trial motions.

State's Attorney Bryan Kibler apologized to Judge Kimberly Koester saying he is yet to receive reports from the State Police Crime Lab.  Kibler said he was promised the findings in December, but they are yet to arrive.  He said a local State Police investigator is phoning the Crime Lab on a daily basis for the information, but no progress has been seen.

Judge Koester scheduled another pre-trial hearing for Tuesday, February 4.  Both Schmidt and Kibler indicated they would be filing pre-trial motions for the judge to consider.

After the hearing, Kibler said the trial going forward in February is "highly unlikely" and said the case would go to trial "in the summer at the earliest" due to the volume of evidence to be reviewed by the defense before a trial could begin.

DeRyke remains in Effingham County Jail under $5 million bond.