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Tuscola resuming jury trials- first one will be a murder trial
Mary Drier posted by Tom Greene
Sat, 12 Sep 2020 10:43:03 EDT
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Tuscola County's courts will resume jury trials later this month after they were suspended in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first circuit court jury trial will be for Larry E. Lyons, who is charged with open murder, assault with the intent to murder, child abuse from an incident last December 2019, at 2900 Gerou Road, Caro, in Ellington Township.
A motion hearing has been set for Lyons at 1 p.m., Sept. 17, in Tuscola County Circuit Court, with a trial by jury set to begin on Sept. 29.
"The Knights of Columbus Hall will be utilized for circuit court jury trials in order to have more space available," said Tuscola County Clerk Jodi Fetting. "The plan as of right now is to call the jurors in to serve in smaller groups."
In preparations for court proceedings, Lyons, 37, underwent a psychiatric evaluation which determined he was competent to stand trial.
The charges against Lyons stem from the Dec. 15, 2019, incident where he allegedly stabbed to death Brandy Marie Dickson, 35, of Caro, and severely injured their infant daughter who was 11 months old at that time.
If found guilty, the charge of open murder is punishable by life in prison, and the assault with intent to murder charge also carries a maximum penalty of life in prison or any term of years, said Tuscola County Prosecutor Mark Reene.
The investigation showed the attack started inside the home, continued outside, and findings indicate Dickson attempted to protect the child from being stabbed while she was being stabbed.
Dickson was transported by ambulance to a local hospital, but life-saving efforts were not successful.
The baby sustained cuts and stab wounds to her head, and a skull fracture. The child survived the attack.
Dickson was found outside of the home with a knife near her when officers arrived on scene.
Dickson and Lyons lived together for a time but were not living together at the time of the attack.
Besides the December 2019 charges, Lyons also faces other charges of domestic violence- third offense, carrying a dangerous weapon with unlawful intent as well as an additional child abuse charge.
The maximum penalty if convicted on those charges is also life in prison.