XENIA — A jury trial scheduled to begin Monday, March 19 for Bret Merrick, accused of aggravated murder, has been continued to Monday, Oct. 15.
The continuation comes after Judge Stephen Wolaver decided that any and all of Merrick’s statements made in an interview at Xenia Police Department will be admissible to the case, according to court records documented Feb. 9.
The six-hour-long interview was conducted by Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) special agents and a Greene County Sheriff’s detective nine days after the January 2017 alleged murders of William “Skip” Brown and Sherri Mendenhall in Yellow Springs.
Merrick’s defense attorneys Dennis Lieberman and Michael Pentecost filed the motion to suppress evidence, claiming Merrick’s rights had been violated when law enforcement officials failed to give him a Miranda warning until an hour and 45 minutes into an interview.
According to the state, represented by assistant prosecutors Cheri Stout and David Hayes, the entirety of the interview and all of Merrick’s statements were voluntary and that the reading of Miranda rights was not required.
After Wolaver filed his decision, the defense attorneys motioned to continue the trial date.
Bret, 25, and his older brother Dustin Merrick, 26, are being tried separately and are facing the death penalty.
Dustin Merrick’s trial was also continued from January after the defense counsel motioned to continue it in order to obtain an expert in ballistics forensic science. A new date has not yet been set.
The brothers remain in the Greene County Jail, each on a $5 million bond.
Contact Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498 or follow @annadbolton on Facebook.
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