Jury Trial Date Set in Murder of 7-Year-Old Watson GirlA December 2nd jury trial date has been set for a Watson man charged with the murder of his seven-year-old niece.
However, Effingham County State's Attorney Bryan Kibler said after the Tuesday pre-trial hearing the trial of Justin DeRyke for the September 8th murder of Willow Long was not likely to go to trial until early next year. He cited the large amount of potential evidence in the case....more than 730 pages of documents generated by police investigators so far. Kibler expects even more documents once reports are returned from the state crime lab. Those reports may not be available until early December.
Another pre-trial hearing was set for November 25th.
DeRyke remains in the Effingham County Jail in lieu of $5-million dollars bond. He's accused of killing Long and dumping her body in a remote area near the Watson exit of Interstate 57. It was found by one of a large number of volunteer searchers late the next day.
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