Judge: Man Accused Of Shooting Neighbor To Death Can Stand Trial

DANVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A judge has ruled an 82-year-old Danville man accused of murdering his neighbor three years ago is supposed to stand trial next month.

Boyle County Circuit Judge Darren Peckler ruled last week that Caldwell is physically fit to stand trail. Peckler set the trial date for November 19th.

Caldwell is charged with murder in the 2004 shooting death of Jim Trachsel, a retired Danville principal. At the time of the shooting, Trachsel was mowing grass along a property line they shared.

Caldwell maintains Trachsel startled him and he acted in self defense. Prosecutors contend Caldwell shot Trachsel as the result of a long-standing disagreement over boundary and drainage issues.

In recent court appearances, Caldwell has been wheeled into court on a gurney and has used an infrared hearing device and communicated in writing. But Peckler ruled that Caldwell can physically withstand a trial.

Ephraim Helton, a defense attorney for Caldwell, says he was stunned by the ruling. Helton says a trial could "kill" Caldwell.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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