Dirkhising Hearing to be Held Friday
July 7, 2008
(CNSNews.com) - A hearing in the case of two men charged with rape and capital murder in the death of a 13-year-old Arkansas boy was pushed back two days to Friday because of scheduling conflicts, a spokeswoman for the Benton County Prosecutor's Office told CNSNews.com. It was originally scheduled for Wednesday, December 8.
The omnibus hearing, during which the prosecution will present discovery and talk about motions, will be held December 10. Prosecutors said the hearing is "a usual course of events" before going to trial.
Joshua Macave Brown, 22, and Davis Don Carpenter, 38, are charged with six counts each of rape and one count each of capital murder in the Sept. 26 death of Jesse Dirkhising, 13, of Prairie Grove, Ark. The men are being held without bond; prosecutors are calling for the death penalty.
Police said Brown told them he sneaked up on Dirkhising, tied him up and repeatedly sodomized him while Carpenter, who police have described as Brown's lover, watched. The boy, who was visiting the men for the weekend, was drugged, gagged with his underwear and strapped face down to a mattress with duct tape and belts, police report. The boy died of asphyxiation after he was repeatedly raped and sodomized, investigators said.
One of the defendants has a variety of motions pending, including questions on whether the death penalty is constitutional.
Among the motions were requests to declare Arkansas's death penalty unconstitutional as "cruel and unusual punishment" and because sentencing provisions do not allow a jury to show mercy.
If prosecutors are allowed to strike all persons who have scruples against the death penalty, then those chosen will be "conviction-prone," said Charles Duell, who is representing Brown. Duell told reporters that to ensure his client gets a fair trial, he plans to file a request to move the case from Benton County.
Pretrial motions are set to be heard Jan. 13 and 14. A trial has been set for April 10.