The homicide case against 14-year-old Keller McQuay is on hold so appellate judges can decide whether or not the state needs to give the defense evidence ahead of McQuay’s preliminary hearing.
McQuay, 14, was charged Sept. 14 as an adult after allegedly shooting his girlfriend, Vista Jackson, also 14, with a sawed-off shotgun. According to the criminal complaint, McQuay and Jackson were heard saying they loved each other before a witness heard a “pop,” and Jackson was shot.
Prosecutors typically don’t hand over evidence to the defense until after a defendant’s preliminary hearing, but McQuay’s defense lawyer has requested materials ahead of time so she can more successfully argue for why the case should be moved to juvenile court, a story in The Journal Times reads.
Assistant State Public Defender Katie Gutowski last week let the court know she intended to file a request that McQuay’s case be moved to juvenile court and on Thursday said she said she can’t argue for her client without having access to the same information the state has, the story continues.
Racine County Circuit Judge Michael Piontek agreed, and he ordered the state to turn over all evidence they’ve gathered thus far.
The state is appealing, though. Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Tanck-Adams told the court she plans to ask the Court of Appeals to stay Piontek’s ruling.
McQuay is next scheduled to be in court Oct. 7 for his preliminary hearing. He remains at the juvenile detention center on $250,000 bond.