4 teens in Warren County murder case headed back to court

A Warren County judge has scheduled hearings for four area teens, three held since before Christmas, on murder charges.

Judge Joe Kirby set July hearing dates for Kayla J. Carmack, Logan M. Dean, Jacob W. Hicks and Jackson P. Pelphrey.

“The Court, having reviewed all the health risks, impact on the parties and ability for counsel or parties to prepare their case, has concluded that this matter should be scheduled for half-day preliminary hearing at the first opportunity available to the Court and Counsel,” Kirby said in orders issued on June 2 in Warren County Juvenile Court.

Dean, 16, of Washington Twp., Montgomery County, was seriously wounded in the shooting that ended with the fatal shooting of Mason Trudics, 18, of Centerville. Dean is to return to the court at 1 p.m. July 8.

Carmack, 17, of Turtlecreek Twp., is accused of arranging the meeting at her home outside Lebanon resulting in the Dec. 13 killing during a botched marijuana robbery attempt on an unidentified victim who reportedly shot in self defense. Carmack is scheduled to be in court at 1 p.m. July 9.

RELATED: Judge delays hearing in Warren County teen murder case

The next day, Hicks, 16, and Pelphrey, 16, of Centerville — who are alleged to have gone to the scene of the shootings as part of the plot — are both set for a hearing at 8:30 a.m.

All four are charged with aggravated murder, aggravated robbery and conspiracy. In addition to the marijuana, the defendants were allegedly motivated by the alleged victim’s relationship with Carmack, whom Trudics was dating.

Dean, Carmack and Hicks have been in the county detention center since Dec. 17, Pelphrey since Feb. 14.

Prosecutors are expected to move to have their cases transferred to adult court.

A fifth suspect, Dakota Cox, 18, of Washington Twp., Montgomery County, is already charged in Warren County Common Pleas Court with aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, conspiracy, tampering with evidence and possession of criminal tools.

Cox remains in the adult jail in the county government complex in Lebanon on a $1 million bond. He is scheduled to return to court on June 16.

Cox, Hicks and Pelphrey reportedly abandoned the plan.

In March, Kirby delayed the juvenile hearings in the case in response to orders issued in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The hearing schedulings come as the state opens up, according to health orders.

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