The murder trial of William Seth Denmark is moving forward, a pre-trial hearing was conducted in Grantsville Friday with Judge David W. Nibert presiding.|
The case is set for trial on April 23rd. Denmark is accused of murdering teen David Beach, although Beach's body has never been found.
During Thursday's hearing, a number of issues related to discovery by the defense will be provided by prosecutors Shannon Jones and Josh Downey, Judge Nibert saying the items are to be provided in 10 days.
Barbara Schamberger is being assisted by co-counsel Lee Benford as Denmark's attorneys.
The defense, in requesting discovery, indicated they did not possess a memo held by the Calhoun Prosecutor's office regarding a phone call from a female that claimed she had seen David Beach alive in Ohio after the time frame he disappeared and was allegedly killed.
Prosecutor Johnson said the memo would be made available as part of discovery.
Denmark's attorney Schmberger said, "My client did not shoot Aaron Lloyd," [in a separate incident] indicating that Lloyd had a motive to kill Beach, that Lloyd was a member of a "gang" in Spencer called "Kings of Destruction," a group to which Denmark allegedly belonged.
That group allegedly spray painted the "gangs" abbreviated name KOD on highways and buildings in Roane County.
Earlier reports indicated forensics would likely confirm a bullet taken from Aaron Lloyd, who says he was shot by Denmark, and a bullet found in the dirt taken from an empty grave where police have contended Beach was buried, are from a gun possessed by Denmark.
The grave site was re-visited and its contents sent to the Smithsonian in DC.
The prosecution is using a Washington DC forensic expert in the case, while Denmark's attorneys are indicating they will likely have a forensic expert too. Judge Nibert spent considerable time instructing the appropriate use of such experts.
Nibert said, "We're going to do this by the book."
Part of the pre-trial hearing was spent by the defense in obtaining any criminal information that might exist with the prosecution's key witness, identified as Veronica Cottrell of Spencer, who the defense says has gone by numerous other names.
Judge Nibert said such criminal records should be available from NCIC.
Cottrell, according to court records, was Denmark's girlfriend. It was Cottrell who reportedly told authorities that Denmark shot Beach and buried him in a grave.
It was Cottrell's statement that led to Denmark's arrest.
An earlier motion by the defense to have Denmark's case dismissed because of time frame problems related to his indictment last March, was deferred by Judge Nibert.
Prosecutor Johnson, during an earlier hearing, said about 90 Calhoun citizens have been selected as prospective jurors. A considerable number of witnesses are expected to be called.