Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

November 28, 2012

Despite advisement, Jones waives trial delay

Cathy Thoele
Effingham Daily News

EFFINGHAM — A man suspected of arson has waived delaying his trial despite being advised otherwise.

Bryan K. Jones, 26, appeared Tuesday in Effingham County Circuit Court, where he pleaded not guilty to setting fire to his ex-girlfriend’s home earlier this month.

Public Defender Lupita Thompson asked Tuesday a  jury trial date be set for February rather than January because of the possibility of expert testimony in the case. However, shortly after doing so, Jones said he preferred the trial take place in January. He did not give an explanation.

Before granting Jones’ request, Judge Ericka Sanders explained to him the reasoning for the later trial date.

“There’s a lot to this you don’t understand — knowledge of how cases are prepared — and it’s important your attorney be prepared to make sure no stone is left unturned, and you’re properly represented,” she said.

Jones said he understood the reasoning, but still demanded a January jury trial date. Sanders set the jury trial for Jan. 14, with a pretrial set for Dec. 20 at 11 a.m.

Jones was indicted last week on one count of residential arson, a Class 1 felony, in connection with a Nov. 9 fire at the Valerie Bosley home at 701 W. Fayette Ave. No one was injured, but the fire caused $40,000 in damage to the rental property. The charge is punishable by a minimum of four years in prison with a maximum of 15 years, two years of mandatory supervised release and a fine of up to $25,000.

Jones remains in Effingham County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bond.