A circuit judge turned down a request Wednesday afternoon to delay a criminal trial involving the former sheriff of Texas County and his chief deputy.
An attorney for Jennifer Tomaszewski, the former officer, said medical issues related to a bout last year with COVID-19 are still lingering. Circuit Judge John Beger denied a motion from her attorney Jason Coatney of Springfield, who noted his client has fatigue and short-term memory issues. A recent visit to a neurologist will be followed with a trip to a rheumatologist, Coatney said.
Coatney filed a report outlining her medical status with the court that was discussed in a short hearing with Beger presiding from Phelps County.
The jury trial is set to begin Sept. 13 from Pulaski County.
Other than delay or continue with the trial, the only other option was to sever the joint trial of former Sheriff James Sigman and Tomaszewski — and proceed with Sigman only.
Both sides opposed having separate trials because of the number of witnesses expected to be called — more than three dozen.
“I think the people of Texas County are tired and they are want something done on this. We are ready to go,” said Don Trotter, special prosecutor from Lawrence County.
This will make the third time attorneys have prepared to go to trial. An earlier delay occurred because of COVID-19 concerns. It’s the second time in the last week that attorneys have met with the judge.