With the attorneys all privately preparing for full-scale legal wars, there has been very little to report on Missouri’s Michael Devlin lately…until this week.
Sometime recently, Mr. Devlin has been moved from solitary confinement and now has a cell mate. I will leave us all to speculate how well that relationship is going.
In response to Devlin counsel’s production request of April 18, a large packet of paperwork (also known as evidence) has been signed off by all four charging jurisdictions (Washington, Franklin and St. Louis counties, and the U.S. Attorney’s office) and has been delivered to Ethan Corlija and Michael Kielty. Business as usual there.
The packet contains all information they need to defend their client on the now 86 charges Devlin faces. (The current count cites 71 from St. Louis County, 7 from Washington County, 6 Federal charges and 2 from Franklin County.) But this information will not include any information relating to ongoing investigations. Notable among that list is whether Devlin has a connection with the disappearance of other young boys in the reasonable vicinity.
For the record the seven Washington County charges are new, having been filed on April 17 following Grand Jury indictments there. In those counts, Devlin is charged with attempted murder, kidnapping, armed criminal action, three counts of forcible sodomy, and one count of attempted forcible sodomy. In the action filed, Washington County DA John Rupp further described Devlin’s attempt to suffocate Shawn Hornbeck during his first month of captivity.
Currently, investigators are probing any possibly connected between Devlin and the following children:
Scott Allen Kleeschulte, who disappeared in 1988 while walking near his home in St. Charles. He was nine years old at the time of his disappearance.
Charles “Arlin” Henderson, who disappeared in 1991 at the age of 11 near his home in rural Lincoln County.
Steven Kraft, who disappeared in 2001 near Michigan, where Devlin often vacationed. Steven was 12 when he disappeared. Investigators are really hot on this case, since they have a variety of evidence linking Devlin to the area around the time of his disappearance…just prior to Devlin’s abduction of Shawn Hornbeck.
Dalton Mesarchik, 7, who disappeared in 2003 in Illinois. His body was found the next day following his abduction near the Vermilion River.
Also, Franklin County Prosecutor Bob Parks mentioned to press recently that all four jurisdictions are preparing a plea agreement to offer several consecutive life sentences in exchange for Devlin’s guilty plea. But Corlija scoffed at the notion and exclaimed that he will take Devlin to a jury trial, where he feels his client will have the best chance of success.
And last, but not least, Franklin County Judge Gael Wood has granted Corlija’s petition to step down from the case. As of May 15, 2007, the Missouri Supreme Court has assigned The Hon. Stanley D. Williams to hear the case to come before him.
Next on Devlin’s counsel’s schedule is Devlin’s arraignment before the Washington County Court on May 21 to answer the seven new charges there. Expect Devlin not to personally attend.
Without a single legal hiccup so far, the case is progressing admirably. More to come…