Attorney asks for assistance in slaying case investigation

Published 5:00 am Monday, August 8, 2005

The attorney for a Lincoln County man accused of capital murderin the January 2004 death of convenience store owner John Deereasked Friday for financial assistance to conduct his owninvestigation into the killing.

During a status conference before Judge Mike Taylor, attorneyLeslie Roussell said he would request $17,500 to coverinvestigation costs in defense of his client, Kenneth BaggettJr.

Roussell said there is case law supporting indigent defendantsbeing entitled to the same level of defense as morefinancially-sufficient defendants. Any money not used in theinvestigation would be returned, he said.

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Taylor did not formally rule on the attorney’s motion. A rulingwas expected before a Nov. 7 omnibus hearing, at which time a trialdate could be scheduled.

“I expect a trial would be scheduled (for) a couple months afterthat,” Roussell said following Friday’s court action.

Baggett, of 2471 Lake Lincoln Dr., has pleaded innocent in theJan. 16, 2004, killing that happened at the Airport Pik and Pak. Hewas arrested in June 2004 and remains in jail under a $750,000 bondset during a May 11 hearing before Taylor.

When questioned about the case’s apparent slow pace, Roussellsaid it seemed normal given the circumstances.

“It’s a capital murder case. There’s a lot of investigation tobe done,” the attorney said.

Also during Friday’s proceedings, Roussell renewed a requestmade during an earlier status conference for Baggett to get dentaland medical attention while in jail. The attorney said Baggett hadan abscessed tooth and a prior leg injury had beenre-aggravated.

Court officials said they would speak with the sheriff’sdepartment regarding treatment for Baggett.

Also Friday, a Roussell motion sought a list of inmates duringthe time Baggett has been incarcerated and a list of jail personnelwho may have come in contact with the man. Taylor said inmates arelisted in the jail’s log book and are public record, which theattorney can view without a court ruling.

“I’m not going to make (the sheriff) compose evidence for you,but you can get access to it,” Taylor said.

Taylor said a list of jail personnel could be provided to theattorney.