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2016 trial dates set for Moberly murder suspects

The courts have scheduled 2016 trial dates for Moberly murder suspects Jeffrey Nichols and Christopher Lewis.

Nichols and Lewis are each charged with 19 felonies. The charges include first degree murder, four counts of first degree robbery and three counts of armed criminal action. They’re accused of the Easter Sunday 2013 killing of 92-year-old Carmelita Kaser.

Nichols’ trial is set to begin May 11, 2016, in Hannibal, on a change of venue. Lewis’ trial is scheduled to start Aug. 23, 2016, in Boone County, on a change of venue. In Lewis’ case, the jury will be selected in northwest Missouri’s Buchanan County and will be transported to Columbia.

Randolph County Prosecutor Mike Fusselman and Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster’s office are handling the case. Fusselman is working with Assistant Attorney General Kevin Zoellner. Fusselman tells ABC 17 News he’s seeking the death penalty against both suspects.

Moberly police say Lewis and Nichols stole a “machete-like instrument” from Moberly’s Walmart Supercenter before the murder. The Moberly Police Department’s probable cause statement quotes both men as admitting that they entered Kaser’s house to steal money. The court documents say the men assaulted the woman with a “machete-type knife” in her neck, then struck her with the butt of a pistol. The men also allegedly robbed Kaser and “left her for dead”, before taking her vehicle.

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