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Defendant appears for second pretrial hearing in murder case

BY Paige Conley - pconley@perutribune.com

PERU — Brittany Morris, one of three suspects in the May homicide of Drake Smith, returned to the courtroom Thursday morning.

Morris, 17, Jonesboro, who has been in custody at the Miami County Jail since early June, appeared via video conference with her attorney, Eric Huneryager, while her second attorney, Kristina Lynn, had a separate attorney stand in on her behalf.

Huneryager requested a further pretrial conference be set due to the amount of discovery still left in the case.

Miami County Prosecutor Jeff Sinkovics also noted that they’re still waiting on lab results from Indiana State Police.

To streamline the process, Morris’s attorneys and Sinkovics agreed to set tentative jury trial dates that will span the course of two weeks. Since there is still so much to go over and collect, Miami County Circuit Court Judge Tim Spahr set Morris’s jury trial several months in advance from Feb. 11 to Feb. 22.

Morris, who is being tried as an adult and is facing charges of felony aiding, inducing, or causing murder; level 2 felony count of aiding or inducing robbery with serious injury; and A misdemeanor for theft, has a further pretrial hearing set for Nov. 1 at 8:30 a.m.

As for the other two suspects in Smith’s murder-- Ethan Cain, 21, Marion and Joshua Kean, 23, LaFontaine-- pretrial hearings are set for later this month.

Kean, who is facing two felony counts of murder, a level 5 felony count of assisting a criminal, level 6 felony count of obstruction of justice, A misdemeanor for theft and level 2 felony count of robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, has another pretrial hearing set for Oct. 11 at 8:30 a.m.

Cain, who is facing charges of felony murder, level 6 felony count of obstruction of justice, A misdemeanor for theft and level 2 felony count of robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, has another pretrial hearing set for Oct. 18 at 8:30 a.m.