Prosecutors have filed a response objecting to a motion requesting the case against murder suspect Justin Shane Staton be transferred to juvenile court.
Defense Attorneys Gina Reynolds and Charlotte Aceituno filed a motion to transfer Staton’s case to juvenile court and requested an extended juvenile jurisdiction (EJJ) designation Tuesday.
Circuit Judge Troy B. Braswell Jr. canceled Staton’s jury trial that was scheduled to begin May 16 and set a transfer hearing for May 17 at that time.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Hugh Finkelstein filed a response to the defense’s transfer motion at 11:07 a.m. Wednesday, according to online court documents.
"Considering the severity of these charges and other factors pertaining to this defendant, the State objects to the defense motion that this case be transferred to Juvenile Court," the motion reads.
Staton, 15, is charged with two counts each of capital murder, aggravated robbery, theft of property obtained by threat of serious physical injury and abuse of a corpse in the shooting deaths of Robert and Patricia Cogdell, 66.
The Cogdells had been Staton’s legal guardians and were found dead in the tree line behind their home at 4803 Quail Run Circle on July 22.
Three other teens have been charged in the Cogdells’ deaths — Hunter John Drexler, Connor Ryan Atchley and Anastasia Rose Roberts.
Justin’s grandfather, Randy Staton, has been charged with hindering apprehension or prosecution in the case. Justin’s mother, Michelle Staton, 37, accepted a plea deal to a hindering apprehension or prosecution charge and was ultimately sentenced to six years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections (ADC) with an additional six-year suspended sentence.
Drexler, 18, was charged with two counts each of capital murder, aggravated robbery, theft of property obtained by threat of serious physical injury and abuse of a corpse.
Atchley and Roberts, both 17, were charged with two counts each of first-degree murder and theft by receiving.
(Staff writer Marisa Hicks can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1277. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)