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Dayton trial pushed back to April 19

Jessica Anne Dayton, 19, Belle Plaine, had her first-degree murder trial in Iowa County District Court reset for April 19, 2010.

Dayton was charged July 19, at 220 West Main Street, Marengo, where she and two other suspects, allegedly did willfully, deliberately and with premeditation kill Curtis Bailey, according to court records. Both Denise Leone Frei and Jacob Scott Hilgendorf, also face first-degree murder charges in the case.

Dayton’s trial was originally scheduled for Jan. 4, 2010.

According to a motion filed Dec. 17 by Dayton’s attorney, Douglas Eichholz, the defendant received a notice of additional minutes of testimony Dec. 15. The motion states the additional minutes of testimony will require additional preparation that cannot be adequately addressed prior to Jan. 4, 2010.

In addition, the defendant requested a questionnaire be sent to all potential jurors. The motion states the counsel has not had an adequate opportunity to review the returned questionnaires.

Dayton voluntarily waived her right to a speedy trial, and her trial is now set for April 19, 2010, at 9 a.m.

Frei and Hilgendorf are scheduled to go on trial May 17, 2010.


The first-degree murder trial for Tonch Lynn Weldon, 37, Blairstown, has been delayed indefinitely.

Weldon allegedly willfully, deliberately and with premeditation shot Amy Gephart with a shotgun, killing her June 7. His trial was most recently set for Jan. 25, 2010.

Iowa County Attorney Tim McMeen filed a motion Dec. 2 regarding a continuance of the jury trial. According to the motion, the state’s reason for requesting a continuance of the trial is based upon the fact that depositions have not yet been conducted in this case and it is the state’s understanding that defense counsel will be requesting to depose witnesses listed by the State of Iowa in its trial information.

In addition, the Iowa County Attorney’s office was scheduled to try the Jessica Dayton murder case Jan. 4, which has since been rescheduled for April 19. It is anticipated the Dayton trial case could take two weeks to try.

In light of this, the state requested additional time to prepare for the Weldon murder case. The state discussed this request with the defense counsel, who have stated they are in agreement with having the trial date reset.

A new date has not been set for either Weldon’s pretrial conference trial or jury trial, but the date and time will be after January 2010.

UPDATED December 23, 2009 11:06 AM

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