A juvenile transfer hearing that was set for Thursday morning was moved to November in a case against an 18-year-old girl charged in the 2015 shooting deaths of a Conway couple.
Anastasia Roberts was charged as an adult in the July 21, 2015, shooting deaths of Robert and Patricia Cogdell. She was 17 at the time they were murdered.
A transfer hearing was scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday in an attempt to move her case to juvenile court. However, Defense Attorney Jim Wyatt requested a continuance, citing health reasons, when the hearing began.
"I’ve learned there’s some medical issues I believe need to be looked into," Wyatt said.
Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Hugh Finkelstein said he was unsure what Roberts’ medical concern was, but that she appeared to be under emotional stress at the hearing.
Circuit Judge Troy B. Braswell Jr. agreed to move the transfer hearing to Nov. 7, a date Roberts was scheduled to appear in circuit court for an omnibus hearing prior to trial.
Her jury trial is currently set for Dec. 12-16.
When asked how much time he would need set aside for the transfer hearing, Wyatt said it would not take more than an hour.
Finkelstein said prosecutors and the defense had been negotiating a plea deal and he would be "very surprised if a juvenile transfer hearing were held in that allotted time."
Based on the factual basis noted in the Prosecutor’s Report during Justin Staton and Connor Atchley’s guilty pleas, Roberts is least culpable in her alleged participation in the Codgells’ murders.
Staton, 16, and Atclhey, 18, have pleaded guilty to the double murder.
Staton was sentenced to 35 years in prison. He 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.
Atchley was sentenced to 25 years in prison with a 15-year suspended imposition.
Hunter Drexler, the oldest of the four teens accused in the Cogdells’ deaths, has a four-day juvenile transfer hearing scheduled to begin Oct. 18.
Finkelstein said that if the defense continues through with a transfer hearing in either case, "any plea deal is off the table."
(Staff writer Marisa Hicks can be reached by email at email@example.com 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)