Russell murder suspect's trial expected next fall

JAMESTOWN, Ky. (WKYT) - The crime happened in June but it will be at least another year before Christopher Allman is tried for capital murder. On Tuesday Allman was back in court for another pre-trial hearing.

He strolled into the Russell Circuit Courtroom as his mother and Sarah Hart’s family looked on.

“I’ve been impressed with the way they have conducted themselves. The way they have handled the situation they have found themselves in,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Matthew Leveridge said of Hart’s family, who have made it a point to attend each time that Allman has been in court.

Hart’s father say it’s still tough talking about the horrendous crime that Allman is accused of doing. Police say early on June 14th he attacked Hart after she fell ill during a morning jog and decided to turn back. Hart was reported missing and her body was found hours later under a treet in a small wooded area just off U.S. 127 between Jamestown and Russell Springs. Allman is also charged with robbery and rape.

“It has been a heart wrenching case for the community, as it should be. We express our condolences to everyone in the family,” said Joanne Lynch, one of Allman’s attorneys with the public defender’s office.

The prosecution wanted the trial to start in July but defense attorneys say a death penalty case such as this needs much more time and the judge agreed to start it in late September and it could be the end of next October before it’s over.

“When you are seeking the death penalty, you want to make sure all your bases are covered. Nothing is left undone,” said Leveridge.

“It’s a good thing that we set a trial date that’s about a year out. It’s good for both sides to make sure all investigation is done,” said Lynch.

The trial could last up to 4 weeks and attorneys say jury selection alone could take several days because each juror will have to be interviewed separately.

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