Suspect in child death opts for bench trial

2013-05-03T23:45:00Z 2013-05-04T18:19:09Z Suspect in child death opts for bench trialPantagraph staff
May 03, 2013 11:45 pm  • 

BLOOMINGTON — A Chenoa man accused of killing his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter has requested a bench trial instead of a jury trial.

David Gharrett is charged with first-degree murder in the April 2011 death of Destiny Cox. His jury trial was originally scheduled for March 11 but was postponed to May 13.

On Friday, Gharrett’s lawyer, Ron Lewis, asked McLean County Judge Rebecca Foley for a bench trial instead of presenting the case to a jury. Foley approved the request and will hear the case, beginning at 9 a.m. May 13.

Destiny Cox died of head trauma that authorities contend was caused by Gharrett slamming the child into the bathtub while he was baby-sitting. Gharrett told police he became angry when the child vomited after eating hot peppers he had given her after her mother, Candis Ethridge, went to work.

Previously, Ethridge pleaded guilty to child endangerment and was placed on 24 months of probation.

Foley also denied a defense motion objecting to extended media coverage of the trial. Area media outlets have asked permission to photograph and record the proceedings as part of a pilot program in Illinois for extended media coverage in the courts.

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(2) Comments

  1. BC
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    BC - May 05, 2013 6:17 am
    It doesn't sound as if he is defending his actions. He is defending himself against the first degree murder charge that includes premeditated murder. He did not conspire or plan to kill the child in advance. Immaturity and inability to control his anger was the problem. Not to excuse his behavior or the outcome, but this is not first degree murder. He acted on impulse and emotion which isn't premeditated. If they want a conviction charge him according to the circumstances and he will be punished accordingly.
  2. foodforthought
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    foodforthought - May 05, 2013 5:23 am
    There is no defense for this senseless and inexcusable crime.
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