Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Judge Makes Hurt Trial Rulings ; Panel Seated; Prosecutor Will Begin Today

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Judge Makes Hurt Trial Rulings ; Panel Seated; Prosecutor Will Begin Today

Article excerpt

A judge on Monday made several rulings that will affect what jurors get to hear in the murder trial of 18-year-old William Hurt. It took attorneys most of the day to select a 12-member panel and two alternates to hear the case, after which Vanderburgh Circuit Court Magistrate Kelli Fink heard arguments on several evidence- related motions.

Deputy Prosecutor Mike Perry will begin presenting the case against Hurt this morning after attorneys for both sides give opening statements.

Hurt is charged with murder, robbery resulting in serious bodily injury and obstruction of justice stemming from the June 2012 death of Marcus Golike, 54 - a homeless man who police believe was beaten, strangled and placed in the Ohio River late June 14 or early June 15. Kentucky authorities found Golike's body several days later and ruled his death homicide.

If convicted, Hurt could receive a 45-to 65-year sentence on the murder charge and six to 20 years for each of the other charges.

Central to Hurt's defense is his attorney Conor O'Daniel's argument that a June 29 statement Hurt gave police implicating himself and two other teenagers, including his sister, was coerced by police after hours of interrogation.

Fink ruled Monday that Steven Drizin, a clinical professor of law at Northwestern University School of Law and legal director of the Center for Wrongful Convictions, can testify about false confessions. However, Drizin will not be allowed to give an opinion on Hurt's interrogation or police statement.

In a separate motion, Fink ruled that O'Daniel could not question a medical examiner about Golike's mental health records and why she did not seek them out to use in her findings about his cause of death.

O'Daniel said in court Monday that those records indicated Golike had made past suicide attempts, including two in which he threatened to jump from the Twin Bridges. …

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