Christopher Harris was the first to appear. During the scheduled
status hearing, several items were discussed, including the schedule
of events leading up to the April 29 trial in Peoria County.
Drazewski reviewed some of those dates, saying that there had been a
request to extend the date for disclosure of exhibit lists from Feb.
15 to March 29. Assistant Attorney General Michael Atterberry
confirmed the extension that had been agreed to in a meeting in the
judge's chambers prior to the hearing.
Drazewski also confirmed that a motion had been made by defense
attorneys Dan Fultz and Peter Naylor for the appointment of an
expert consultant. Drazewski said the state had agreed to allow the
motion, and Drazewski had granted the motion.
Drazewski also noted that the state also had a right to an expert
consultant of its own. He set a deadline of April 1 for the state to
disclose whether or not it had retained such a consultant and to
file any reports prepared by that consultant.
Atterberry confirmed that on March 1 there will be a motion
hearing. Drazewski said the hearing will begin at 9 a.m. and take
place in Lincoln. It is expected to last the full day. This will be
the time where motions pertaining to witnesses and evidence may be
submitted by both the defense and the prosecution for the judge's
Drazewski told the council that on April 19 at 1:30 p.m. they are
to meet at the Peoria County Courthouse. The meeting was first
designated as a status hearing and a chance for attorneys to
acquaint themselves with the facilities. However, as discussions
ensued, the question came up as to whether it was really necessary
to have a status hearing that day.
In the case of a status hearing, Christopher Harris, who is
currently being held at the Logan County Safety Complex, would have
to be transported to Peoria, as it is his right to be present at all
Drazewski then responded that there would be no status hearing
unless something came up between now and then that would warrant
one, in which case Harris would need to be present. Therefore, he
said the meeting in Peoria on April 19 would be an "open house" for
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In regard to the motion hearing on March 1, Drazewski said the
deadline for the attorneys to submit their written motions would be
Feb. 15. He told the attorneys that he intended to read every motion
prior to the March 1 date. In order to expedite the process on March
1, he said the attorneys should not spend a great deal of time
reviewing what had already been submitted in writing.
It was also noted that all counsel had a deadline of Feb. 1 for
the completion of discovery in the case. For the most part, that
deadline was met, but it was noted that there were still a few
pieces of discovery to disclose, which would be done as soon as
While he was speaking about the discovery and evidence, Drazewski
rose from his seat at the bench and walked to the side, where three
packages lay. He said all three items were for the prosecution. He
indicated there were envelopes from the Illinois State Police and
St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria.
There was also a very large box given to the prosecution, which
Drazewski said was from the Illinois State Police Forensic Science
Finally, Drazewski told the attorneys that while proceedings for
the trial are set to begin on April 29 with jury selection, that
particular process has been pushed back one day to April 30. He said
they would still officially begin the trial process on April 29 and
added, "I'm sure we'll have plenty to do."
After approximately 20 minutes, Christopher Harris was taken out
of the courtroom. As has been the practice throughout these cases,
there was a short lull while Christopher was removed from the
building and Jason Harris brought in.
When Jason Harris was present, Drazewski asked if there was
anything that needed to be addressed. Harris' attorney Steven
Skelton said he thought the only thing needed was a confirmation
that Jason will have a status hearing on March 1. Atterberry agreed
that there was nothing else to do at this time. Drazewski confirmed
that Jason Harris will have a status hearing at 9 a.m. on March 1,
and court was dismissed.