Continuance granted for Terry Hankins

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Story at a glance

• Arraignment hearing Thursday rescheduled for March 25.

• Terry Hankins faces nine charges, including sole count of first-degree murder.

• Defendant under went mental evaluation two weeks ago.

• Results of the exam were unavailable, public defender said.

— The case against a man charged with murder hit another delay Thursday afternoon in Moffat County District Court.

Terry Hankins, who faces nine total charges including a sole count of first-degree murder, was scheduled to enter a plea during an arraignment hearing before 14th Judicial District Chief Judge Michael O'Hara.

However, the hearing was continued.

The arraignment originally was scheduled to take place at the end of January, but three consecutive continuances have delayed Hankins' entering a plea.

Prosecutors allege Hankins murdered his wife, Craig resident Cynthia Hankins, and then buried her body on his gold claim south of the Wyoming border in Moffat County last year.

The defense counters that Hankins acted in self-defense.

His attorney, public defender Sheryl Uhlmann, asked for the continuance. She said her client under went a mental evaluation two weeks ago, but exam results were unavailable before Thursday's hearing, and the doctor couldn't be reached to discuss the results.

A previous continuance was granted so Hankins could undergo the evaluation.

Prosecutor Kerry St. James, appearing by telephone, did not oppose the request.

O'Hara broached the idea of moving forward with the arraignment; however, given the unopposed defense request, he moved the hearing to another date, March 25.

He reiterated his intention to move the case forward with a plea at the rescheduled date.

Hankins also is charged with theft, three counts of forgery and possession of a controlled substance, all felonies, and additional misdemeanor counts of theft and abuse of a corpse.

If convicted, he faces a mandatory life sentence with no chance for parole.

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