Short and to the point.
Gary James Wiltermood, via a video hookup between the Marion County Courthouse in Hannibal and the Marion County jail at Palmyra, made an appearance in circuit court Monday morning. The monitor was visible only to Judge Rachel Bringer Shepherd, and not to the dozen or so members of Adrienne Arnett’s family gathered in the courtroom for the hearing.
Wiltermood is charged with second degree murder in connection with the early morning Oct. 8, 2013, death of Arnett, a 61-year old woman who was working the night shift at a Hannibal convenience store.
Almost before Arnett’s surviving family members had a change to realize what was happening, Wiltermood’s attorney, Tamma Keim of the public defender’s office, filed a motion for a change of judge and venue. Judge Bringer granted the motion.
And the hearing was over.
The arraignment was scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Monday, but extra time devoted to civil matters caused a delay in the start of the criminal docket.
After the court hearing, while the assistant prosecuting attorney talked with the murder victim’s immediate family behind the courtroom stairwell, a cousin noted that the morning hearing for Wiltermood had been a long wait for nothing.
While it hasn’t been determined where or when the next hearing for Wiltermood will be, another family member said that moving the case to another town will make it hard for family members to attend.
While Wiltermood is a relative newcomer to Hannibal, Arnett’s family is deeply rooted within in the community. Following Arnett’s Oct. 14 funeral, the family once again gathered on Nov. 14 to pay respects to another family member, Bobby Joe Ellis Sr., with some pallbearers serving at both services.