Murder trial date set for April
Hampson enters not guilty plea in death of Dolores man
A 26-year-old Dolores man, accused of first-degree murder, pleaded not guilty Tuesday afternoon to all of the crimes involved.
Hampson is accused of the murder of 27-year-old Jonathan Hayes of Dolores, who was found dead Jan. 14 in the hills near Dolores.
Hampson is charged with first-degree murder, and four sentence-enhancing counts of crime of violence and being a habitual criminal.
According to a complaint filed by the 22nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Hayes was killed Jan. 6.
Hampson’s attorney, Justin Bogan requested a motion and trial date after entering the not guilty plea. District Attorney Russell Wasley told District Court Judge Douglas Walker that he expected the trial to last no more than seven days. Bogan said he thought the trial could last between nine and 10 days.
“Seven to 10 days does not matter to me,” Walker said, and added he would set aside two weeks for the trial.
Part of the issue in setting the trial date was that Hampson has not waived his right to a speedy trial, which means the trial has to be done by May 3.
Another issue was the availability of defense attorneys with other cases and Spring Break.
“If I set it out after six months we have no flexibility,” Walker said, mentioning he knows people have already made plans for Spring Break.
Walker offered Bogan two trial dates, March 25 and April 1 and Bogan selected April 1, and the prosecution accepted the date. Bogan also asked for a motion hearing before the trial, and Walker set that date for Feb. 20.
Walker asked Wasley if he had been in contact with incoming DA Will Furse about the case since Furse will be in charge of prosecuting the case.
Furse will take the oath of office as the new DA on Jan. 8 after defeating Wasley in the primary election.
Wasley, with Furse sitting in the gallery, said he has handed over 3,991 pages of discovery in this case to the incoming DA. Bogan wanted to know if the court wanted to schedule a status hearing with Furse after the incoming DA took the oath of office to get him up to speed on the trial.
Walker said if Furse needed the status hearing, one could be arranged, but mentioned the incoming DA would be assisted by Daniel W. Edwards, who is part of the state attorney general’s Homicide Assistance Team, which provides support to local elected district attorneys and law enforcement in homicide investigations and prosecutions.
Walker also ruled that all motions need to be filed by Dec. 31 and also sent a pre-trial hearing for March 18 at 1:30 p.m., though Walker added he was going to block out the entire day in case more time is needed.