A Pittsburg County judge will review transcripts from previous hearings before a decision is made on possible discovery violations in a first-degree murder case.
Bryce Miller, 17, was charged June 2019 with first-degree murder for the shooting death of 16-year-old Jaylen Nelson and is scheduled to face trial in March.
Attorneys for Miller filed a motion earlier this month to dismiss, or in the alternative, exclude evidence due to discovery violations. Defense attorneys said the case should be dismissed for what they called violation of the court’s discovery orders and violation of Miller’s constitutional right to due process.
During a Wednesday hearing, Pittsburg County Associate District Judge Tim Mills heard arguments from District 18 District Attorney Michon Hastings-Hughes and Miller’s defense attorney, Brecken Wagner.
Wagner told Mills that prosecutors did not properly answer a motion for discovery, where attorneys on both sides are required to share information prior to trial. Prosecutors told Mills they attempted to deliver discovery information last Friday, but Wagner's office was closed at the time. The discovery information was picked up by the defense Monday, past the Jan. 31 deadline.
When asked by Mills if discovery was in compliance, Wagner said there was “zero” compliance.
Wagner said the discovery he received was out of order, photos were not properly formatted, and it contained four new names he's never heard of before.
“They are still investigating this case,” Wagner said. “They are still generating discovery after I filed an order.” Wagner said new interviews in the case were conducted as late as January.
“It’s an effort for me to ask for a continuance,” Wagner said.
Hastings-Hughes answered that there was no order telling prosecutors to not continue investigating. She also explained that a forensic review conducted by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation was completed before the Jan. 31 deadline, after prosecutors asked the OSBI to rush it.
Mills said he would look at the transcripts regarding when the Jan. 31 discovery deadline was set before continuing arguments and making a ruling.
“I want to be absolutely sure what was discussed and set,” Mills said.
A deadline for prosecutors to produce a list of witnesses was set for 2 p.m., Feb. 18, after Wagner said prosecutors have not produced one.
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