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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Birdno trial moved up one month

  • With a new attorney defending him, Jason Birdno will have to wait an extra month from his originally scheduled trial to learn his fate.
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  • With a new attorney defending him, Jason Birdno will have to wait an extra month from his originally scheduled trial to learn his fate.
    The trial for the Monroe City man, who turns 37 next week, is charged with five counts of first degree statutory sodomy with a person less than 14-years-old. Two of the charges date back to Christmas Eve 2006.
    Trial was originally scheduled for Feb. 20 through Feb. 22, but it has been rescheduled for March 20. And instead of trying to convince jury of his innocence, Gillis Leonard, Birdno's attorney, will only have to convince one man; newly elected 12th Circuit Court Judge Wesley Dalton as Birdno has elected to have a bench trial.
    With no jury, the trial should last a day and a half to two days. The voir dire process with the jury conserves time for attorneys. Monroe County Prosecutor Talley Kendrick filed a motion opposing Birdno having access to a cell phone and a motion to admit written statements to the court.
    "I want time to chase down some leads," Leonard said of his trial date change request. "On the 20th we go to war."
    Birdno remains in custody at the Monroe County Jail in Paris.
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