The preliminary hearing for the supervisor accused of tragically bullying teen worker Kenneth Suttner to death has been postponed.
Harley Branham charged with felony involuntary manslaughter in the death of 17 year old Suttner was due to appear before Circuit Judge Mason Gebhardt on May 24, 2017.
That hearing was then postponed to May 25, 2017. However, court records reveal that the second hearing has been postponed as well and the attorneys of record are to submit new dates of availability to the court.
Purpose of a Preliminary Hearing
Section 544.250 of Missouri law states in pertinent part:
No prosecuting or circuit attorney in this state shall file any information charging any person or persons with any felony, until such person or persons shall first have been accorded the right of a preliminary examination before some associate circuit judge in the county where the offense is alleged to have been committed in accordance with this chapter.
Essentially a key objective in a preliminary hearing is for the state who bears the burden of proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt standard must demonstrate there is sufficient evidence to proceed toward trial.
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