Laney Trial Delayed - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/16/04 - Tyler

Laney Trial Delayed

One Friday, Judge Cynthia Kent announced Deanna Laney's trial will go forward, but it is uncertain whether a jury will be present. Laney is the Chapel Hill mother accused of stoning two of her children to death and injuring a third. This morning, Laney's family and friends gathered in a Smith County courtroom to support her. The defense had earlier pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Experts for the prosecution, defense, and court have all evaluated Laney and found her to be insane at the time of the killing.

Kent granted a continuance, which will delay the trial's start date. A pre-trial hearing is set for March 17. The trial is set to start March 29. One matter attorneys from both sides are discussing now is whether Laney's two indictments -- capital murder and injury to a child -- will be combined into one case for trial.

"At this time, the cases have not been consolidated," Matt Bingham, Smith County acting district attorney, said. "If the defense files that motion, which has not been filed yet, the district attorney's office will respond to that motion. But at this time, we cannot say that we will be agreeing to consolidating the case."

Defense Attorney "Buck" Files says he doesn't want to burden tax payers by holding a trial for the two indictments separately.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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