- Associated Press - Friday, August 21, 2015

CONWAY, Ark. (AP) - Prosecutors and defense lawyers cannot agree on whether a 14-year-old boy charged with capital murder should be in street clothes or jail attire when he appears in court next week.

Justin Staton is due to enter a plea Tuesday. He is charged as an adult in the July 21 deaths of Robert and Patricia Cogdell, who raised him and who he believed were his grandparents.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper reported Friday (https://bit.ly/1fvpVLv ) that the defense wants Staton to wear civilian clothing. Prosecutors say he should wear jail clothing and restraints for all proceedings except during a jury trial, and wants a judge to leave the matter to the sheriff’s office “and the bailiffs who are responsible for courtroom security.”

The Conway youth, along with Hunter Drexler, 17, of Clinton, each face two counts of capital murder, aggravated robbery and theft of property. Drexler has pleaded not guilty.

According to police, the pair plotted to steal money and credit cards from the couple. Two other teenagers are being detained after being described as “persons of interest.” Investigators say they were at the home when the Cogdells were shot and were with Drexler when he was picked up in Texas on July 23. Staton was picked up at his mother’s home in Conway.

Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland has said he expects to file additional charges against other people.

The Cogdells raised Staton. Genetic testing performed in 2008 showed that they were not related, but the Cogdells continued to raise the child and in a 2010 guardianship case, Staton said he still believed they were his paternal grandparents.


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com

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