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Murder trials rescheduled

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By Calen McKinney

 

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Jurors won't be called next month to decide the guilt or innocent of Dale and Brianna Brucker after all.

Instead, the two, who are accused of killing Brianna's 3-month-old baby, might face jurors in September.

Dale Brucker, 27, and his wife, Brianna Means Brucker, 21, formerly of 109 Mill St. in Campbellsville, are accused of killing Charles Brett Hayden Jr., Brianna's son and Dale's stepson, who was 3 months old.

A Taylor County grand jury indicted the Bruckers in January 2013 after a six-month police investigation into the infant's death. They have since pleaded not guilty. If convicted, the Bruckers face as much as life in prison.

According to their indictments, the Bruckers caused the trauma that led to the baby's death on July 22, 2012, at Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville. Police say Hayden died of blunt force trauma.

On Tuesday, Taylor County Circuit Court Judge Allan Bertram discussed the status of the Bruckers' cases.

Brianna Brucker's attorney, Donald Thomas of Casey County, told Bertram that he doesn't believe he will be prepared for the Aug. 26 trial date. He said he is in the process of hiring some experts to testify.

Bertram canceled the Aug. 26 trial dates. Trial dates for the Bruckers are also set for Sept. 22 and Oct. 27.

A motion has been made for the Bruckers to face jurors during separate trials, but Bertram hasn't yet ruled on it.

If the September and October dates don't pan out, Bertram said, the next available date is in February.

Bertram asked if the trials could take about a week, to which Thomas said is possible, since jury selection might take some time because the case involves such a serious matter.

A motion was made in Dale Brucker's case last Wednesday for a continuance, though Bertram didn't rule on it during Tuesday's hearing.

In Dale Brucker's case, an additional trial date was scheduled for Feb. 23.

Both of the Bruckers will appear in court again on Tuesday, Aug. 19, for another pretrial hearing.

Jesse Durham

Jesse Durham's murder case is ready for jurors to decide.

Durham, 22, is accused of killing his great-grandmother, Elizabeth Arinsmier, with a hammer. He has pleaded not guilty to murder, which carries a sentence of as much as life in prison.

Durham appeared in Taylor Circuit Court before Judge Allan Bertram on Tuesday to discuss the status of his case.

C.B. Bates of the Department of Public Advocacy in Columbia represents Durham and said he sees no need to have any more pretrial hearings in the case.

He said any further action can be handled by filing motions, and, barring some major change, he believes the case is ready for jurors to hear.

According to court records, Durham was scheduled to appear in court for a pretrial conference on Sept. 16 and is expected to face jurors on Oct. 27.

• An indictment is a legal accusation only. It does not establish guilt.