Judge Denies Venue Change in Carthage Murder
CARTHAGE (AP) - A southwest Missouri judge has denied a request to move a trial in the death of an elderly Carthage man.
However, Jasper County Circuit Judge David Dally this week granted a motion for a change of judge for one of two defendants in the death of 87-year-old Raymond Ritchhart. He was found beaten and stabbed in his home in December 2013.
Dally ruled that Jasper County Judge David Mouton will hear the court proceedings for 27-year-old Kelli Benefiel. The Carthage Press reports Dally denied a defense request to move her trial out of Jasper County.
Her husband, 48-year-old Brian Benefiel, will have his preliminary hearing May 14 before Judge Richard Copeland.
Investigators say Ritchhart was killed during a burglary, when the suspects allegedly were trying to steal prescription drugs.