01/18/14 — Murder trial set for Feb. 10

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Murder trial set for Feb. 10

By John Joyce
Published in News on January 18, 2014 10:38 PM

Counsel for the defense in the pending first-degree murder trial of Brendan Jamarin Pemberton filed 24 pre-trial motions in Wayne County Superior Court Wednesday, among them, a motion to dismiss the charge of first-degree murder -- a motion that was denied.

Pemberton, 22, is accused of beating his 4-month-old son, Jaylin, to death in May 2012.

A motion to continue the case beyond the trial date, set for Feb. 10 by Judge Arnold O. Jones back in October 2013, also was denied.

The defense contends that it has not had sufficient time to have its own experts review, test and analyze all of the evidence collected -- and that there are what defense attorney William W. Gerrans called "complex medical issues" that need to be understood fully by the jury.

But Jones reminded Gerrans that the same request was made in October when the trial date was being discussed and when asked at that time when he might be ready to proceed, Gerring said February.

Prosecuting Assistant District Attorney Matthew Delbridge, on the other hand, when asked by Jones back in October when the state would be ready to proceed, said, "next week."

Delbridge remains ready to prosecute the case.

Among the motions that were approved were one to compel all state agencies involved to turn over what, if any, evidence collected that has not already been given to both the defense and the prosecution, and to order State Bureau of Investigation Director Greg McLeod to appear in Court Feb. 5 if all evidence -- tests results and reports on evidence sent to the agency's lab more than a year ago -- are not concluded and submitted to the court by 5 p.m. Jan 31.

Jones said he has issued the same order in several previous cases during which delays have arisen. To date, McLeod has not appeared in his courtroom, he said, because all the test results have.

A motion to submit potential jurors to a questionnaire on the grounds the case revolves around an infant's death was agreed to by the state pending a review of the questions.

A motion to sequester the jury and all witnesses save the defendant's wife and the lead detective in the case also was approved.

The trial remains set to begin Feb. 10.