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Three accused murderers appear in court

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By Calen McKinney

 

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Dressed in sweats and scrubs, the three appear before the judge, one by one, to discuss their cases.

All accused of murder, the three Campbellsville residents face as much as life in prison if found guilty.

The cases against Dale Brucker, Brianna Brucker and Richard Riggs are all moving forward, with jury trials scheduled in a few months.

The three appeared on Tuesday before Taylor Circuit Court Judge Allan Bertram to hear the status of their cases.

Riggs, 57, and Brianna Brucker, 21, are housed at the Taylor County Detention Center. Dale Brucker, 27, is incarcerated at Marion County Detention Center.

The Bruckers, 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.

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.

Riggs, of 3150 Maple Road in Campbellsville, is accused of shooting and killing Orvey Carl Harris last April.

According to a Taylor County Sheriff's Office report, deputies received a report of a shooting at Harris' home on Saloma Road. Upon arrival, the report states, deputies found Harris dead with a single gunshot wound to his chest.

After an investigation, deputies learned Riggs allegedly came to Harris' home that night and a physical altercation took place. During the fight, the report states, Riggs allegedly shot Harris in the chest and fled the scene.

Riggs was indicted last May and has pleaded not guilty to the murder.

Dale Brucker

Dale Brucker's request for a bond reduction has been denied once again.

During Tuesday's hearing, which lasted about 10 minutes, Shanda West-Stiles of the Department of Public Advocacy in Columbia, who is representing Brucker, said the investigation into the allegations against her client is continuing.

When Brucker last appeared in court, he asked for his $125,000 cash bond to be reduced. Bertram asked Brucker to determine how much money he could post and report back to him.

On Tuesday, West-Stiles said Brucker's family members have said they believe they can post 10 percent of a $20,000 bond, which is $2,000. She said Brucker is also agreeable to being monitored by a GPS tracking device and home incarceration until his trial date. Brucker would live in Casey County if released.

Bertram said Brucker is charged with a Class A felony, which is punishable by as much as life in prison, and being a persistent felony offender.

While that is true, West-Stiles said, Brucker was staying at a treatment facility in Lexington and turned himself in when a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Commonwealth's Attorney Shelly Miller, who is prosecuting the Bruckers, has said she opposes a bond reduction.

Saying that he won't accept the terms Brucker proposed, Bertram denied the request.

Brianna Brucker

Brianna Brucker appeared before Bertram for a two-minute hearing.

Casey County attorney Donald Thomas is representing her. He said he suggests that another pretrial hearing be scheduled for May or June to discuss the case.

Bertram scheduled a hearing in Brianna Brucker's case, and in Dale Brucker's case, for Tuesday, June 3, at 1 p.m.

The Bruckers are scheduled to stand trial together beginning Tuesday, Aug. 26.

Additional dates of Sept. 22 and Oct. 27 have also been scheduled, should the case not be ready for by the August date or a decision be made to have separate trials.

Richard Riggs

During a two-minute hearing on Tuesday, Danny Butler of Greensburg, who represents Riggs, said he believes the case against his client is on track for trial.

Jurors are expected to hear the case beginning Tuesday, June 24.

"We haven't worked anything out," Butler said.

Bertram asked if Butler and Shane Young, Commonwealth's Attorney in Hardin County, who has been appointed as a special prosecutor in the case, see a need for another pretrial hearing before trial. They said they don't, and that the case is ready for trial. Young said he believes the trial will last for two days.

Riggs remains incarcerated on a $100,000 cash bond.

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