A preliminary hearing for two women charged with murdering a Eudora man has been pushed back six weeks.
The March 29 joint hearing for Tria L. Evans and Christina L. Towell was rescheduled for all day on May 11.
Douglas County District Court Judge Kay Huff on Tuesday agreed to prosecutor Amy McGowan’s request to continue the women’s joint preliminary hearing.
McGowan also is prosecuting a weeklong jury trial in a different murder case beginning two business days later. In a motion, McGowan cited that obligation plus the “lengthy investigation” yielding “a large amount of circumstantial evidence” in Evans’ and Towell’s cases.
The judge arrived at the May 11 date after trying several other dates that either did not work for either the judge, the prosecutor or one of the two defense attorneys. Noting speedy trial deadlines, Huff added, “There are not going to be any more continuances.”
The body of Joel Wales, 34, of Eudora, was discovered shortly after 9:30 p.m. Nov. 3, 2017, inside his mother’s house at 1104 East 1200 Road, just south of Lawrence.
Evans, 38, of Lawrence, and Towell, 37, of Leavenworth, are both charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, arson and aggravated burglary.
An affidavit prepared by law enforcement alleges that they conspired to kill Wales — who is the father of one of Evans’ children — and cover it up by setting the house on fire. The affidavit, which says Wales died of multiple gunshot wounds, also alleges that Towell picked up Evans and drove her to and away from the scene of the crime that night.
Evans and Towell each remain jailed on $1 million bond.
The murder trial scheduled to begin April 2 is that of Danny W. Queen, 36, of Eudora, charged in the June 2017 shooting death of Bo M. Hopson, 32, of Eudora, outside a Eudora bar.
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More coverage: Joel Wales homicide• May 11, 2018 — Victim’s mother blames his ex at hearing for defendants in rural Lawrence murder, arson case
• Feb. 14, 2018 — Affidavit: Two women plotted to kill Eudora man and cover it up
• Feb. 6, 2018 — Preliminary hearing scheduled for 2 women charged with murder of Eudora man
• Feb. 2, 2018 — 2 women charged with conspiring to murder Eudora man face judge in Douglas County
• Feb. 1, 2018 — 2 women charged with murder, arson in November homicide of man found in burning house near Lawrence
• Nov. 14, 2017 — No arrests made in death of man found inside burning house south of Lawrence
• Nov. 6, 2017 — Investigators identify man found dead in burning home south of Lawrence; homicide suspected
• Nov. 4, 2017 — Body found in burning home after report of gunshots; sheriff’s office investigating scene south of Lawrence