Hankins motions hearing set

5-day murder case pretrial scheduled to begin Sept. 29

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— Attorneys are about a week away from beginning a five-day motions hearing in Moffat County District Court in the murder case against Terry Hankins.

Hankins, 71, is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the June 2007 death of his wife, Cynthia Hankins, of Craig. He also is charged with felony counts of theft more than $15,000, possession of a controlled substance and forgery, and misdemeanor counts of abuse of a corpse and theft under $500.

He has pleaded not guilty.

The motions hearing is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 29, and it possibly will conclude by Oct. 3 in District Court.

There are about 40 separate motions to be addressed during the five-day hearing. Court records including the motions were not available as of press time Friday.

The motions hearing sets the stage for Hankins' jury trial at the end of the year. Jury selection in the case is scheduled to begin Dec. 1, and the trial is expected to last about two weeks.

Hankins has been in custody at Moffat County Jail since August 2007.

Prosecutors have alleged Hankins murdered his wife in June 2007 and then buried her body on his gold claim south of the Wyoming border in Moffat County.

His defense attorney, public defender Sheryl Uhlmann, has countered that Hankins was a routine victim of domestic violence at the hands of his wife and acted in self defense.

Hankins, if convicted, faces a mandatory life sentence with no chance for parole.

The Hankins case is believed to be the first alleged murder in Craig since October 2004 when 32-year-old James Pogline was shot and killed at an apartment complex.

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