An October jury trial in a case against a 19 year old accused in the 2015 shooting deaths of a Conway couple has been delayed.
Hunter Drexler, 19, is charged with two counts each of capital murder, aggravated robbery, theft of property and abuse of a corpse in the July 21, 2015, murders of Robert and Patricia Cogdell. He was 17 at the time he and three other teens allegedly shot and killed the Cogdells.
Circuit Judge Troy B. Braswell Jr. ruled Wednesday to delay Drexler’s jury trial, which was set to begin Oct. 17 and set a juvenile transfer hearing to begin Oct. 18 in its place.
Defense attorneys Patrick Benca and John Kennedy said they plan to appeal the court’s decision if Drexler’s request is denied, which would further delay a trial in the matter.
Braswell tabled the defense’s request for a jury questionnaire, noting he would make a decision after Benca and Kennedy provided the questionnaire to the court for all parties to see.
The defense had requested a questionnaire be given to prospective jurors during voir dire to determine how much publicity they had been exposed to regarding the July 2015 double murder.
Drexler’s transfer hearing will continue through Oct. 21.
Anastasia Roberts, 18, is also charged in the Cogdells’ murders. She was 17 at the time of the killings.
She is charged with two counts each of first-degree murder and theft by receiving. She is set to appear in Faulkner County Circuit Court on Thursday for a juvenile transfer hearing and has an omnibus hearing set for Nov. 7. Her trial is set to begin Dec. 12.
The two other teens accused in the Cogdells’ deaths — Connor Atchley, 18, and Justin Staton, 15 — have pleaded guilty to murder. Atchley was sentenced to 25 years in prison with a 15-year suspended imposition.
Staton was sentenced to 35 years in prison.
Staton is currently being held in the Division of Youth Services for killing the Cogdells, who were his legal guardians. He will be transferred to the Arkansas Department of Corrections when he turns 16 in November.
(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.)