Accused Moberly killer's trial delayed

Christopher Lewis could wait months, facing 19 charges

POSTED: 05:38 PM CST Feb 24, 2014    UPDATED: 05:56 PM CST Feb 24, 2014 
Christopher Lewis and Jeffrey Nichols
COLUMBIA, Mo. -

A judge-ordered court hearing today revealed an accused killer will have to wait months for his trial.

Christopher Lewis, 19, faces 19 charges, including one of first degree murder. Last year in April, Lewis and Jeffery Jay Nichols, 23, committed several acts in a day-long crime spree throughout Moberly.

Lewis' trial was set to begin next week, but a Boone County judge ordered a hearing today. The defense made a motion at this hearing to delay the trial, stating they needed more time to consider all of the charges.

ABC 17 News went to that hearing and talked with Randolph Prosecuting Attorney Mike Fusselman. He said it could take months before Lewis sees a trial. Fusselman said he expects a rare, six-day trial but not until late this year or next year.

Both suspects face counts of first degree robbery, three counts of armed criminal action and that first degree murder charge. Lewis is accused of killing 92-year-old Carmelita Kaser in Moberly. Both men admitted to robbing and assaulting Kaser with a "machete type knife" in her neck, then striking her with the butt of a pistol and leaving her for dead.

Fusselman is seeking the death penalty for both suspects in this case.

"The defense is still working up their side of the case, and need time to do some depositions and more processing," Fusselman said. "I suspect some motions and dates in front of the court yet before the end of this year, and we'll just keep moving on."

Lewis did not make an appearance in court today.

The judge set a rough 10-day deadline for both sides to submit trial date proposals.

The other man charged in the crime spree will go to trial in November. Nichol's trial will be held in Marion County.