A murder trial in Morgan County was delayed today because a defense attorney was tied up with another case in a nearby county.
38 year old Joshua E. Wilson is facing three charges of first degree murder in the shooting death of 26 year old Malcolm V. Fitts in late February in the parking lot of the Turner Hi-Rise Apartment Complex. Wilson has plead not guilty in the case.
In today’s hearing in Morgan County Court, visiting Macoupin County Judge Kenneth Diehl charged Wilson’s defense counsel with a continuance to be determined, because Wilson’s private counsel, Marcus Shantz of Springfield, was not able to be in attendance due to a bench trial in Sangamon County Court in which he was defending a client.
Shantz had made a prior entry of appearance in July, but according to his defendant, Shantz has not been in contact with him since some time in August. Diehl ruled that a teleconference would be set up with Shantz at a later date to determine the next time Wilson is to appear in court for a pre-trial hearing.
Public Defender Tom Piper, who is representing Wilson on 2020 cases for traffic violations and felony domestic battery will also be included on the call to determine if all the cases will be tried together or separately. Piper also asked Judge Diehl to consider a waiver for appearance for Wilson at the teleconference hearing if they are only setting up court dates. Diehl said it would be under discussion with Shantz when they are able to set a time to talk.
Wilson will next appear in Morgan County Court a time to be determined.