After an unexpected turn of events, it looks like Jason Stoker is getting a new attorney and will not be going to trial this year.
Stoker, 35, of Chester, was charged with two counts of aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, reckless homicide and first degree murder last year following the Oct. 28, 2016 incident that left Chester Police Officer and Firefighter James Brockmeyer fatally injured. He has been held at the Randolph County Jail since he was apprehended in St. Louis, MO on Nov. 1, 2016.
Originally a trial date for Stoker had been set for July of this year, but a federal indictment this summer for conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine pushed the state’s potential trial date first to October and then to a special jury session in December.
A pre-trial case management hearing was originally scheduled for Stoker last week on Nov. 20, but his defense attorney, James Kelley, was hospitalized that day. The hearing was pushed back to Nov. 27, but Kelley was still hospitalized with an ongoing medical condition.
“Jamie is very sick and will be out for a while,” Randolph County State’s Attorney Jeremy Walker commented to the North County News. “It’s unfortunate.”
Walker added that at the hearing this week, Judge Richard Brown appointed another attorney as Stoker’s public defender so the case can keep going in Kelley’s absence.
For more on this story, please see this week’s print edition.