TUPELO – Murder, DUI-death and sex-related trials are expected during the November term of circuit court in Lee County, officials said Monday after the docket’s release.
The four-week term begins Oct. 28 for hundreds of cases, although many will be continued to later terms and others will see defendants plead guilty to avoid trials.
District Attorney’s spokesman Paul Howell said some cases, especially recent indictments, are likely for action during 2014 terms of court or later.
Among those cases are the embezzlement charges against state Rep. Brian Aldridge, his mother Janice Aldridge and his father Louis Aldridge.
They are free on bond after formal accusations they wrongfully took money from Louis’ sister-in-law, who gave him her power of attorney while she was ill.
Monday, Brian Aldridge’s attorney, Brent McBride, asked the court to dismiss his case or throw out the indictment, saying the criminal charge amounts to trying him twice and that his indictment fails to specify his alleged wrongdoing.
In 2012, a chancery judge found that while Brian’s aunt’s estate was plundered by Louis Aldridge, Brian Aldridge took no action in the loss other than to be responsible as chief executive officer of a charity through which funds were funneled.
Set for trial Nov. 4 is the 2011 double-murder case against Travon Brown. He is accused of shooting to death a man and woman at a Chapman Street residence. The defense is likely to try to prove self-defense.
Jason Pannell’s manslaughter case is due up Nov. 6. He is accused in the Sept. 1, 2012, vehicular death of Earlie Rogers. Set for trial Nov. 12 are Andrew D. Owens, accused in the 2011 depraved heart murder of Kamari Stoby, and James Robert Russell, charged in the DUI death of Charlotte Russell.
All these defendants have pleaded not guilty to indictments.
J. Everett Dutschke, a former Tupelo martial arts instructor, is due for trial Nov. 19 on three counts of fondling. Dutschke remains in federal detention facing multiple charges he mailed poison-laden letters to President Obama and two other officials and attempted to blame the scheme on another man. His federal trial set for Oct. 7 is likely to be delayed because a new attorney recently was appointed for him.
Howell said the DA’s Office also is ready to try Christopher Mink, accused of aggravated assault, kidnapping and setting the woods on fire as he allegedly tried to burn a woman in the Pratts community in 2012.
Cherie Clark of Baldwyn, indicted with him, is expected to be called to testify when his trial begins Nov. 18.