DeRyke Trial Delayed to February

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Published on November 25 2013 6:35 pm
Last Updated on December 3 2013 9:46 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The murder trial of Justin DeRyke has been delayed until February.

The 22-year-old DeRyke is charged with killing his seven-year-old niece Willow Long at their home in Watson on September 7.

As was the case at a hearing in October, Public Defender Scott Schmidt said he was still receiving information and evidence from the prosecution.  Since DeRyke's trial was scheduled to begin next Monday, Schmidt said there was no way they could be ready and instead requested a February trial date.  State's Attorney Bryan Kibler had no objection, so trial judge Sherri Tungate scheuled the trial to begin February 10 at 8:30am with a pre-trial hearing to consider any pending motions at 11am on January 9.

After the hearing, Kibler estimated 1,100 pages of information and more than 100 hours of audio and videotapes with DeRyke and with potential witnesses is being shared by prosecutors with the defense.  He said they are close to providing all of the possible evidence in the case.

As to the likelihood of the February trial date holding, Kibler said it's "possible, but not likely."  There still exists the possibility that Schmidt will ask for the trial to be moved outside of Effingham County due to the attention the case has received locally.

DeRyke remains in Effingham County Jail under $5 million bond.