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Pretrial hearings start in Smith murder case

by PAIGE CONLEY - pconley@perutribune.com

Two of the three suspects in the murder of a 22-year-old man whose corpse was found on the Okie Pinokie Trail went to their inital court hearings in Miami County Thursday morning.

Ethan Cain, 21, Marion and Brittany Morris, 17, Jonesboro, are both suspects in the murder of Drake Allan Smith, of Summitville.

The pair are facing multiple charges in the murder of Smith, whose body was found by a pair of mushroom hunters at about 10 a.m. on May 19 along Okie Pinokie Trail near Ind. 124 and Miami County Road 510 East.

Cain is facing charges of murder, level 6 felony count of obstruction of justice, an A misdemeanor for theft and level 2 felony count of robbery resulting in serious bodily injury.

Morris is being tried as an adult and is facing charges of aiding, inducing, or causing murder, level 2 felony count of aiding or inducing robbery with serious injury, and an A misdemeanor for theft.

Cain appeared via video conference with defense attorneys Andrew Achey and Brandon Rush, who will be co-counseling on the case.

Cain’s pretrial conference was set for a further pretrial hearing on Oct. 18 at 8:30 a.m. due to new findings provided by Miami County Prosecutor Jeff Sinkovics.

“All of the evidence we have collected through the investigation, we have provided to them,” Sinkovics said.

The evidence includes reports from all of the officers involved with the case in Miami County and in California, witness statements and other documents.

Morris also appeared via video conference with her defense team, comprised of Eric Huneryager and Kristina Lynn.

Morris’s pretrial conference was also set for a further pretrial hearing on October 4 at 8:30 a.m. due to the additional findings provided by Sinkovics.

The further hearings will give the attorneys of both suspects additional time to investigate the initial discoveries.

The third suspect in the murder, Joshua Kean, 23, LaFontaine, has a pre-trial conference set for August 16 at 8:30 a.m.

Kean faces charges of murder, level 5 felony count of assisting a criminal, level 6 felony count of obstruction of justice, an A misdemeanor for theft, and level 2 felony count of robbery resulting in serious bodily injury.