A fall trial date has been set for one of two women charged in the death of man shot late last year in Hamilton.
Jamie Strack, 38, formerly of Fairfield and Hamilton, and Chelsea N. Bussell, 26, of Hamilton, are both charged with involuntary manslaughter and kidnapping for the Dec. 17 death of Brandon York.. Both women appeared before Butler County Common Pleas Judge Charles Pater in March and bond was set at $200,000 each.
Both defendants were back in court on Tuesday for pre-trial hearings. Bussell’s attorney, John Kaspar, asked for the hearing be continued until June 2 and requested bond be addressed. Pater said that, considering the charges, the bond he set in March is appropriate and declined to lower it.
Strack’s attorney, David Albrecht, requested a trial date be set, noting he has received all the discovery from the prosecution in the case. Pater set Oct. 5 for Strack’s trial.
The judge said depending on the status of the coronavirus pandemic in October, special precautions may have to be taken for social distancing of jurors. That would mean that not all could sit in the jury box or some type of barriers could be constructed to separate jurors.
The co-defendants will not be tried together because, “each gave statements to police making separate trial necessary,” said Assistant Prosecutor Brad Burress. He declined further comment.
York, 30, of the 600 block of Concord Avenue in Middletown, died at Bethesda Butler Hospital after suffering a gunshot wound. Investigators determined the incident occurred in the area of 12th and Hanover streets in Hamilton.
Prosecutors say Strack, Bussell and York were part of a deception to get another man to leave his residence and get into a vehicle with the intent to cause serious physical harm. During the commission of the alleged crimes, York was shot.
“This is a case of the person was able to defend himself, he ends up surviving and bad guy gets killed and the other two conspirators are charged with a felony in this homicide,” Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said in March.
Detectives served search warrants connected to the case in the city’s North End, including the area of Vine Street, shortly after the shooting that involved the SWAT team.
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