Heitbrink, Berry trials could happen this fall

By Gary Scott on July 8, 2015 at 1:00pm

We could see trials for two Jacksonville men facing murder charges before the end of 2015.

Fifty-year-old Robert Heitbrink appeared in Morgan County Court this morning with his attorney, James Elmore, opposite special prosecutor Charles Colburn. Circuit Judge Chris Reif set a pre-trial date for September 2nd, and a jury trial date for October 13th.

Heitbrink is charged with three counts of first-degree murder for allegedly stabbing his step-father-in-law, 70-year-old William McElhaney of Charleston, South Carolina to death at the realtor’s Ivywood Drive residence during the early morning hours of July 27th, 2013.

Colburn says the next step in the process is to start notifying witnesses of those dates. Reif set a date of September 9th as a deadline for hearing any additional motions.

“Anything that any of the attorneys need to have resolve prior to trial, we have to have that done by September 2nd. Both sides have tried cases with each other before, so I think we both know that we’ll stick by that schedule, and we don’t anticipate that there will be any surprises. We’ll be ready to go to trial,” says Colburn.

“We’re not going to file anything at this point; anything that they may file, they’ve informally advised us of, and I don’t think it’s going to derail the trial at all.”

Also this morning, a pre-trial date was set for 19-year-old Avery Berry, the man accused of murdering Marcus Jackson last October. Berry is also scheduled for a September 2nd pre-trial at 1 p.m.