MIAMI COUNTY — Due to three expert witnesses’ conflicting schedules, Miami County Common Pleas Court Judge Christopher Gee granted state prosecution a continuance in regards to Richard Terrel’s jury trial on Friday.
The four-day jury trial has been rescheduled to begin during the month of October. The last trial date was set to begin July 26.
Miami County Prosecutor Anthony “Tony” Kendell requested the continuance due to an expert FBI and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents who are booked to stand trial in other cases. Another expert witness, a forensic chemist with BCI, was scheduled for vacation the week of the July trial date.
Terrel appeared in court with attorney Jay Adams on Friday. Adams said he had no issue for the trial to be delayed once again.
Judge Gee said the state made a “reasonable” request and he had foreseen scheduling a jury trial in the month of July to be wrought with conflicts of availability.
“We do need to get this case tried,” Gee said.
Judge Gee gave Kendell one week to communicate with witnesses and select one of three October dates for the jury trial to begin.
Terrel’s jury trial has been delayed once by defense lawyer Adams due to a schedule conflict with a case in Greene County. In April, the jury trial also was delayed due to a technology issue during a motion to suppress statement review, which was hampered by Judge Gee being unable to review interview tapes.
On May 12, Judge Gee denied Terrel’s request to suppress statements made during a six-hour interview with law enforcement on June 3, 2015, before he was arrested and charged with the murder of William York Sr., 88, of Tipp City. He was indicted on charges of fifth-degree felony abuse of a corpse, third-degree felony tampering with evidence and second-degree felonious assault in connection with the case.
On April 25, Terrel’s girlfriend Hope Earnshaw-York entered a plea of no contest to felony charges in connection with the murder of her grandfather.
Earnshaw-York was found guilty of felony abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. She also pleaded no contest to three counts of receiving stolen property regarding several guns that were stolen from her grandfather prior to his death.
Earnshaw-York could face up to nine years in prison. Her sentencing date will also be delayed due to the jury trial being rescheduled.
Earnshaw-York and Terrel were indicted in July 2015 on the felony charges connected to York Sr.’s death and disappearance May 2015.
The couple lived with York in his Tipp City home. York, 88, was reported missing from his home on May 30. His body was found on June 3 in a park in Union, Ky. Officials ruled York’s cause of death as blunt force trauma to the back of the head.
Reach Melanie Yingst at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @Troydailynews