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Preliminary hearings for suspects in Hudson case delayed again

May 4, 2012 - By Christina George, Staff Writer

The concurrent preliminary hearings in Riverton Circuit Court scheduled for last Wednesday morning for two defendants in the Hudson double homicide case have been postponed for a second time.

The delays in the case came after the attorneys for the defendants requested continuances to assure their clients receive effective counsel.

Cheyenne-based attorney David L. Serelson, who is representing Laziur Stephen Hanway Jr., 19, of Ethete, told Riverton Circuit Judge Wesley Roberts that evidence continues to surface.

Serelson said Fremont County Attorney Brian Varn is continuing to provide materials in the process known as discovery while there are still other matters ongoing.

He did not specify the other issues at hand in the case.

"This is a very serious case," Serelson said during the 10-minute hearing on May 2. "There are some significant issues involved in the case."

Try again June 6

Since Wednesday, court officials have set the preliminary hearings for June 6. The hearings will be combined.

This is the second time preliminary hearings have been continued for Hanway Jr. and his co-defendant and brother-in-law, Joseph Jude Jenkins, 20, of Arapahoe.

Shackled in handcuffs and wearing bright orange jumpsuits, the two sat quietly in court at the defense table, with Jenkins's attorney, Tina Olson of Cheyenne, sitting between the two.

Every so often, Jenkins would turn back toward the audience consisting of family members of both the defendants and victims, Eric Clinton Likes, 42, and his girlfriend Elva Charlotte Quiver, 20.

Jenkins and Hanway Jr. are each charged with four counts of first-degree murder, two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, first-degree arson, two counts of aggravated robbery and two counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery.

The charges stem from the November killings of Likes and Quiver and subsequent robbery and arson at the couple's trailer home in Hudson.

Three others charged

Charges against three other defendants were bound over to Lander's Ninth District Court after preliminary hearings in March and April. Those individuals are Samantha June Hanway, 20, of Ethete, Ryan Blake Hanway, 22, of Riverton, and Jude Blackburn, 15, of Riverton.

Serelson said both defense attorneys and prosecutors have worked "diligently to prepare for the hearing," but he wants to assure his client has the "most effective" representation.

"We believe some additional time will help," Serelson said, adding he was aware the motion was being made the morning of the hearing.

"I don't do it lightly," he added. "I think there will be a benefit to both sides" if there is a continuance.

Olson and Varn concurred with Serelson in continuing the preliminary hearing.

Varn said evidence "has been heavily flowing" and a continuance would be appropriate. "We feel the request is responsible," he told the court.

Roberts said he was concerned about how a continuance would affect the court's schedule considering the entire day was set aside for the hearing.

"We are just so busy," he told counsel.

But he granted the continuance, saying the most important considerations are the rights of the defendants and counsel to adequately represent their clients.

The next court proceeding in the case will occur on May 10 when Blackburn will be arraigned in District Court.

Arraignments for Ryan Hanway and Samantha Hanway have not yet been set.

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