CLINTON, Mo. (AP) - Defense attorneys for a man accused of killing a 12-year-old Missouri girl are fighting the possibility of a death sentence even before the man goes on trial.
A circuit judge heard testimony Friday on motions challenging the prosecution's notice of intent to seek the death penalty against Bobby Bourne Jr. He is charged with murder in the 2013 kidnapping and death of Adriaunna Horton of Golden City.
The Joplin Globe reports (http://bit.ly/1Tec8eE ) the state's public defender's office filed the motions to lay the groundwork for a possible appeal if Bourne is convicted and sentenced to death.
Circuit Judge James Journey indicated at a hearing in October that he doesn't believe he has the authority to overturn the death penalty law. He said Friday he would rule on the motions soon.
Information from: The Joplin (Mo.) Globe, http://www.joplinglobe.com