Courtney headed for trial

2008-09-06T00:00:00Z Courtney headed for trialBY MICHAEL BOOTH
GAZETTE-TIMES REPORTER
Corvallis Gazette Times
September 06, 2008 12:00 am  • 

During a Friday hearing for Joel Patrick Courtney, the man accused of the kidnapping, rape and murder of Brooke Wilberger, attorneys requested that the court set aside future dates for pretrial hearings.

Despite a hint in July by Benton County District Attorney John Haroldson that attorneys might be prepared to report that they are either moving toward resolution or trial, both sides said they were preparing for all possibilities.

"It is both our duty to negotiate a resolution and to prepare for trial," lead defense attorney Steven Krasik said.

Krasik and co-counsel Steven Gorham continue to review more than 26,000 pages of documents related to the case; and there is still more to come. Neither the defense nor prosecution has received all documents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Courtney, 42, waived his right to appear at Friday's hearing.

Presiding Judge Locke Williams set aside two six-week blocks of time for pretrial motions, beginning March 31, 2009, and Aug. 4, 2009.

A trial date, if necessary, was previously scheduled for Feb. 1, 2010.

Courtney's next hearing will be Oct. 10 at 10 a.m.

The 19-year-old Wilberger disappeared May 24, 2004, while cleaning lamp fixtures at an apartment complex near Oregon State University. She has not been seen since and is presumed dead.

Haroldson is seeking the death penalty for Courtney, who faces 14 counts of aggravated murder, two counts of kidnapping and single counts of rape, sodomy and sexual abuse in connection with Wilberger's disappearance in May 2004.

Courtney remains without bail in the Benton County Jail.

Copyright 2015 Corvallis Gazette Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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