The defense attorney for a 19 year old accused in the deaths of a Conway couple has asked for an "immediate and expedited hearing" before a scheduled transfer hearing is held later this month, according to court documents.
Defense Attorney Patrick Benca filed a motion Tuesday morning stating prosecutors were not abiding to a subpoena agreement between prosecutors and the defense counsel.
Benca argued in his motion that prosecutors and the defense should "treat subpoenas issued and served by each side as joint subpoenas" in preparing for Hunter Drexler’s transfer hearing and requested an immediate hearing in the matter.
Drexler is charged as an adult in the July 2015 slayings of Robert and Patricia Cogdell. He was 17 at the time he and three other teens allegedly shot and killed the Cogdells.
Drexler has requested his trial be moved to juvenile court and a hearing is scheduled in the matter for Oct. 18-21.
Benca declined to comment on the matter Tuesday, stating the document spoke for itself.
Benca also filed a motion Sept. 22 requesting Circuit Judge Troy B. Braswell Jr. quash the prosecution’s subpoena of its witnesses "due to the state’s abuse of the prosecuting subpoena power."
In his motion, Benca states Drexler’s mother, father and grandfather were issued prosecutor subpoenas as they were leaving the courtroom following a Sept. 20 pretrial hearing.
"Prosecuting attorneys indicated that the reason for the issuance of these subpoenas was to determine ‘what their testimony would be at the juvenile transfer hearing,’" Benca states in his Sept. 22 motion, noting the incident was a "violation of the federal and state constitutional rights of the accused to a fair trial."
Benca said he feels the prosecutors have abused the prosecuting attorney’s subpoena power because "the defendant has no similar power to compel state’s witnesses for interrogation under oath."
Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Hugh Finkelstein was not available by press time Tuesday.
(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)