Murder Trial Postponed

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A former Payson man charged with first-degree murder of another former local resident made a brief appearance in Mesa City Court Tuesday morning.

Jody Cline, 20, is being charged with first-degree murder and sexual assault for allegedly killing Virginia Nicole Hall, 20, in Tempe July 11.

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Jody Cline

Cline, whose hands and ankles were shackled and who was at the end of the "chain" with other inmates, simply stood up when his attorney addressed the court.

Since being incarcerated, Cline has grown a full beard.

Cline's attorney, Gary L. Shriver, informed Judge Sherry K. Stephens that he had received the transcript of the case against his client just a week ago. Prosecutor Ted Duffy told Stephens that the defense now has everything it needs.

Stephens gave Shriver until Sept. 20 to file an extended motion, and set a teleconference meeting for 8:30 a.m. Nov. 28.

Because of speedy trial rights, Cline -- if he doesn't waive the right -- must be tried within 270 days of his arraignment, which means he must be tried by April 2007.

No decision has been reached on whether the state intends to seek the death penalty against Cline.

See related story:

Additional charges added in murder case (Aug. 11)

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