More delays in a high-profile murder case that rocked the Port City almost three years ago; the cold-blooded murder of 24-year old Kelei Morris, shot and killed at her West Mobile apartment.
Prosecutors say Kelei's boyfriend, Steven Mason, and another man are responsible for her death. Both were supposed to go on trial this week. But that's not going to happen for a couple more months.
The Mobile County District Attorney says Mason's alleged partner in crime, Adam Miller, is in the hospital, so he couldn't be in court on Monday for a pre-trial hearing. Without that hearing, the case is at a stand still.
Kelei Morris' murder in 2015 was a mystery for more than two years. Investigators finally arrested Mason last March. For those close to the case...it was a long two years. Now getting to trial is dragging on too.
Just like Mason did when he was arrested, his attorney, Dennis Knizley, is claiming Mason's innocence.
"We had nothing to do with the death of Ms. Morris."
Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Wright is trying to prove he did, but neither side has been able to make their arguments in court yet.
"We were ready to proceed on Monday with all of the motions and certainly this is something that is out of everyone's control because the co-defendant, Adam Miller, not being present, he has the right to be present for those hearings that involve him," said Wright. "Certainly I believe everyone is ready for this case to go to trial and to bring some closure for everyone involved."
Adam Miller is Mason's alleged accomplice, and the reason the case is now on hold. He's currently in the hospital. In the meantime, the defense wants prosecutors to answer a lingering question: which defendant are they claiming pulled the trigger?
"There's two totally different theories that didn't happen. We're saying, state, you need to give a more definite statement and say, what do you really claim happened here, what do we need to defend against, what are you telling me my client did," said Knizley.
But the DA's office says none of that is relevant to prove both were involved in Kelei's murder.
Mason has been behind bars at metro jail for almost a year. Investigators say in that time, Mason tried to get other inmates to help him hire a hit man to kill witnesses in the case.
Mason has also been accused of murder before. About 15 years ago, Mason was charged with killing a teenage girl but a judge granted him youthful offender status, meaning all of the records of that case are sealed.
Now his latest murder case, is far from over.
The DA's office and Miller's defense attorneys say they will possibly use Skype to include Miller at the next hearing on March 7th if he hasn't been released from the hospital. That means the case will probably go to trial in August, which is a six month delay.
Mason's conspiracy and solicitation to commit murder charges are separate cases, so they will be tried at a different time.
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