PROVO The name Kiplyn Davis might be too familiar in Utah County to get a fair jury pool, so attorneys for the two men charged with her death are asking for a venue change.
"I can't imagine he'd possibly get a fair trial (here)," said Scott C. Williams, attorney for Christopher Jeppson. "It's absolutely saturated. Any time a case is massively exposed through the media there's always concerns. We have a stack 2 feet high of news articles created in the last three years, let alone in (13) years."
Jeppson and Timmy Brent Olsen are both charged with the murder of 15-year-old Kiplyn Davis, who disappeared from Spanish Fork High School in May 1995.
Both men were schoolmates of Kiplyn's and allegedly some of the last to see her alive.
Despite hundreds of missing-person posters and several searches, Kiplyn's body has never been found.
Along with planning to file a motion to change venue, Olsen's attorney, Dana Facemyer, said Wednesday in 4th District Court that he will be filing a motion to sever, or split, the cases.
"(Olsen) doesn't wish to waive any speedy trial issues," Facemyer told Judge Lynn Davis. "(We need) to set, at least his part of it for trial as soon as the state can accommodate."
The split is partially needed because Jeppson has waived that speedy trial right, and doesn't mind that his attorneys want more time to prepare.
"Mr. Jeppson acknowledges he has a speedy trial right, but that his lawyers believe there's a significant preparation and investigation and other endeavors that would cause fairly significant delay if done exhaustively and thoroughly," Williams said.
The split would also allow Williams to bring in evidence that might be prejudicial to Olsen, but help Jeppson.
Despite pushing for a trial, Olsen understands that in order for his attorneys Carolyn Howard-Morris has joined as co-counsel with Facemyer to "provide the best capable defense possible," it may mean some delays.
"My client does not object to holding off time in this case for the specific purpose of moving the case forward, but he does not want this case to linger forever," Facemyer said.
State prosecutor Mariane O'Bryant said she believed Olsen's trial would take somewhere between 13 to 15 days. But a date can't be set yet, because attorneys still need to argue their pre-trial motions, like the change of venue.
Facemyer must file his motion to sever by Feb. 11. Another hearing was set for Feb. 26.
Davis also granted a motion from Williams, requiring that the Utah County Attorney's Office pay for some of Jeppson's investigative costs.
Jeppson was declared indigent by a federal judge months ago and normally would be entitled to investigative funding help through the Utah County Public Defender's office.
However, because there was a conflict and the public defenders couldn't represent him, Williams has requested that the same help be given to him for the investigative costs. It is not for his attorney's fees, but merely costs to talk with expert witnesses and conduct necessary investigations.Davis approved the request, allowing investigative costs of no more than $65 an hour for a private investigator, and up to $5,000 per expert.
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