There hasn’t been much information lately about Missouri’s most notorious alleged child molester, Michael J. Devlin, as many of his court hearings have been passed for a while. However late last week, Devlin was temporarily transferred to St. Louis County to await his arraignment there on those 71 felony counts (69 forcible sodomy and 2 kidnapping) coming next month.
Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke facilitated Devlin’s transfer last week, but will have Devlin back in the Franklin County Jail soon after the arraignment is concluded.
The best news in all of this is for Devlin’s legal team, led by Ethan Corlija, who will have a month to meet with Devlin without having to drive an hour or so each way.
As you may recall, the bulk of the state’s case against Devlin resides in St. Louis County, where one count of kidnapping and the vast majority of the sodomy charges relate to Devlin’s kidnapping and sexual assault of Shawn Hornbeck for over a four-year period. The remainder of the counts relate to his kidnapping and sexual assault of Ben Ownby. Both boys were miraculously discovered in Devlin’s clutches four days after Ben was abducted.
The entirety of the Franklin County charges concern Ben’s abduction. Washington County added charges of attempted murder (for trying to suffocate Shawn in his first month of captivity), kidnapping, armed criminal action, three counts of forcible sodomy, and one count of attempted forcible sodomy relating to Shawn. There are also six federal charges rounding out the cadre of four jurisdictions involved so far.
No plea agreement has been reached by any authority with Devlin.
The prosecutors in Franklin County have answered Corlija’s request for all the info they had on Devlin (Discovery), and D.A. John Rupp has reciprocated by requesting Corlija send his info also. Ditto in St. Louis County.
As his current court docket stands, Devlin will appear September 10 in Washington County, where the judge will rule on defense requests for a change in venue, as well as to determine how the jury pool will be selected. His arraignment in St. Louis County is scheduled for September 19 and will hear several preliminary motions filed there. And on October 13, Devlin will return to Franklin County, where the judge will hear various defense motions filed there, inclusive of Corlija’s latest request for a change in venue.
And the Feds wait for their turn last at bat when all else in all counties is concluded. When the dust settles in Missouri, Devlin faces federal charges of producing child pornography and transporting a minor (Hornbeck) across state lines for the purpose of conducting criminal sex acts.
More reading? See info on Devlin’s transfer to St. Louis County and Toelke’s insistence that Devlin will be returning to Franklin County afterwards, and info about Devlin’s arrival in St. Louis County and the issues anchored there.
For background info, I’ve written previously about Devlin’s case here, here, here, here, and in about 25 other posts, at very least. Probably the easiest way to find all of them is through wading through this Google Search.