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Trial still set to go in August

The jury trial for a Mulberry Grove who has been jailed since being charged with murder about 2½ years ago is still set for next month.
During a brief pretrial hearing in Fayette County Circuit Court on Tuesday, the jury trial for David Leroy Bright was confirmed for the week of Aug. 17.
What is now scheduled for the final pretrial hearing in that case has been set for 11 a.m. on Monday, July 29.
During Tuesday’s hearing, the current trial judge in Fayette County, Kevin Parker, confirmed the trial setting with Assistant State’s Attorney David Sternau and Bright’s court-appointed attorney, Fayette County Public Defender William Starnes.
Parker, Sternau and Starnes were in the courtroom for the hearing, and Bright participated via closed-circuit television.
Judge Kimberly Koester, chief judge of the Fourth Judicial Circuit, will be the trial judge in Fayette County as of July 6 and will preside over Bright’s trial. The new judicial assignments also call for Judge Marc Kelly of Vandalia to return to his home county for civil matter and problem-solving court.
Bright, 71, was charged in January 2018 with two counts of first-degree murder, with information filed by the office of State’s Attorney Joshua Morrison alleging that Bright caused the death of James Skinner of rural Brownstown on Sept. 17, 2017, by striking him in the head with a sledgehammer.
Bright has been in Fayette County Jail on $1-million bond since his arrest.
One of the trial delays came when Starnes asked for a psychiatric evaluation of his client to determine whether Bright was fit to stand trial.
On July 12, Fayette County Resident Circuit Judge Don Sheafor ruled that Bright is mentally fit to stand trial after a report on his evaluation by psychiatrist Dr. Terry Killian was filed with the court.
In his ruling, Sheafor said, “The state did prove by a preponderance of the evidence in this case that the defendant is fit to stand trial or plead.”


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