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Suspects in mid-Missouri murder, crime spree appear in court

The suspects in an Easter Sunday murder and crime spree want their cases moved.

18-year-old Christopher Lewis and 22-year-old Jeffery Nichols face several charges including murder, assault and resisting arrest. They face the death penalty. Investigators say the men stole five cars and shot three people in Randolph and Macon counties.

Randolph County prosecutor Mike Fusselman tells ABC 17 News he knew on Friday that Nichols was going to waive his preliminary hearing. He didn’t know until this morning that Lewis was going to follow suit. Now both of them have 10 days to file for a change of venue, which they’re expected to do.

The men responsible for an overnight rampage that left a 92-year-old woman dead came into the courtroom separately. Neither of them said a word. Instead, they let their lawyers do the talking.

Nichols’ lawyer wants to get his client’s case out of Randolph County. Ideas mentioned include having the trial in Boone County with a jury coming from the Springfield area.

“One the discussions we had was trying to find a venue where it would be readily accessible to people in Randolph County and law enforcement here since they’ll be primary witnesses,” Fusselman explains.

Currently Lewis and Nichols each have 19 charges against them. Fusselman wants the death penalty for the pair.

“We did file notice at the complaint level, I will probably re-file that at the felony information level as well just to be sure we have all of our bases covered,” Fusselman says.

Status hearings are also scheduled. Lewis will have his in June and Nichols’ in July.

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