Defense requests removal of some evidence in murder case - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Defense requests removal of some evidence


A teenager accused of brutally killing his own father on Talahi Island last September appeared in court with his mother on Tuesday.

Preston Phelps is charged with murdering his father, Thomas Phelps, and dismembering the body. His mother, Judith Phelps, joined him in court today. She is charged with covering it all up.

The purpose of the hearing was to address all outstanding motions about what evidence can be used during the upcoming trial. Investigators say Phelps stabbed and beat his father to death and then used an axe and blow torch to dispose of the body.

Police say the mother tried to help him hide it all. The 14-year-old is being charged as an adult.

As of now, the mother and son will be tried together. The judge plans to get a larger courtroom for the trial so the co-defendents can sit seperately to allow them to consult privately with their attorneys during the proceedings. The seating arrangements was one of the many motions discussed during the hearing.

The results of a medical evalutation may also be admitted into evidence. If an independent medical review concludes that Judith Phelps suffers from "battered person's syndrom" this may be presented to the jury during the trial.

This would not serve as a defense, but it could have a major impact on how the jury views her case.

The judge also says he wants to call on extra jurors because of the nature of this case.

No rulings have yet been made on the motions.

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