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Murder retrial for Hari postponed

Murder retrial for Hari postponed

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PAXTON - The retrial of David Hari on charges of murder and attempted murder, which had been set to begin Nov. 27, has been rescheduled for Feb. 20, 2007.

In Thursday's hearing, defense attorney David Rumley of Urbana was given until Dec. 20 to come up with an expert medical witness.

Judge Donald Bernardi ruled Thursday that prosecutors can tell a jury about an unrelated felony conviction against an expert medical witness used by the defense in the first trial.

Hari is accused of shooting his then-estranged wife, Lisa Hari (now Lisa Sherfey), 36, and killing her boyfriend, Jeffrey Thomas, 39, both of Paxton, in 2002. He was convicted in January 2003, but the Illinois Supreme Court granted Hari a retrial in January 2006.

The Supreme Court ruled the original jury should have been allowed to consider the defense of "involuntary intoxication" because Hari was taking the prescription antidepressant Zoloft.

Hari's defense attorney has asked for more time to prepare or to secure an expert witness on five occasions since he was assigned the case in April.

Ford County State's Attorney Tony Lee expressed frustration with the continued delays.

"We are now 10 months removed from the Supreme Court sending this case back and we are no closer to trial than we were 10 months ago," Lee said.


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