Legal process slowed for teens in murder, robbery case

The transfer of murder and robbery cases against three area teens for adult prosecution has been slowed.

On Tuesday, the pretrial hearings for Kayla Carmack, 17, of Turtlecreek Twp., Jacob Hicks, 16, and Logan Dean, both 16, of Washington Twp., Montgomery County were rescheduled for Feb. 21 in Warren County Juvenile Court.

Before the cases could be transferred to adult court, the juveniles are to return to the juvenile court for separate preliminary hearings, Dean on March 30, Carmack on April 1 and Hicks on April 3.

“Binding over a juvenile to be tried as an adult is a very significant decision by the court. Even though the standard for doing so is similar to a preliminary hearing, because of the weight of the decision, there is typically an exchange of discovery that takes place in juvenile bindovers. We are in the process of doing that right now,” County Prosecutor David Fornshell said Tuesday via text message.

RELATED: Family says romantic dispute, rather than robbery prompted fatal shooting

“It also means that, theoretically, if any of the cases are bound over, there would not need to be the typical length of time between an arraignment in common pleas court and the trial date” because much of the discovery will already have happened, he said.

Dean, Carmack and Hicks had been scheduled for hearings this week on the transfer to adult court.

Fornshell indicated the slowing of the juvenile proceedings should have no effect on proceedings already pending in Warren County Common Pleas Court involving Dakota Cox.

Dean, Carmack, Hicks and Cox are all charged with murder and robbery. The charges stem from the fatal shooting of Mason Trudics, 18, of Centerville on Dec. 13 outside Carmack’s home on Oregonia Road, east of Lebanon.

Trudics and the four charged allegedly planned to rob the unidentified shooter. Instead the shooter pulled a gun in self defense and shot Trudics and Dean, according to authorities.

Lawyers for Hicks and Cox have indicated their clients weren’t at the scene at the time of the shooting.

RELATED: 3 Montgomery County teens with no past criminal record could face murder, robbery in adult court

On Monday, Dean’s relatives indicated the shooting stemmed from a romantic dispute, rather than a robbery attempt.

Cox, 18, of Washington Twp., Montgomery County, is already charged with murder and robbery as an adult. His case was bound over from the Lebanon Municipal Court to the common pleas court. He remains in the Warren County Jail.

“Speedy trial kicks in on Cox. So it necessarily has to proceed faster,” Fornshell added Tuesday.

Criminal law requires defendants get a “speedy trial, ” in other words to be tried in a reasonable amount of time. Generally in murder cases, defendants are entitled to a jury trial within nine months, or three months if they are in jail.

A grand jury has yet to review the case for indictment. His $1 million bond was continued in the common pleas court, and Judge Robert Peeler has been assigned the case. Cox could waive his speedy trial rights.

” There’s no speedy trial issues with the juveniles, so those will certainly be delayed before the possibility of presenting them to the grand jury (assuming they are bound over),” Fornshell said in a text message.

Dean, Carmack and Hicks all remain in juvenile detention.

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