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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.)

AP-NY-10-07-07 1912EDT


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