WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The attorney for a Fayetteville man charged with the murder of a missing woman asked for a delay in the case.
Kacey Jennings, 29, was arrested after the disappearance of Allison Maria Castro, 28, in September 2022. He is charged with capital murder and abuse of a corpse.
Defense attorney Gregg E. Parrish filed a motion for a continuance in Washington County circuit court on March 29, stating that it is impossible for the defense to be “completely and fairly prepared” by the scheduled trial date.
“Capital cases are fundamentally different than any other criminal case, not only in
the severity of the potential penalty, but in the nature of the evidence and information which
must be developed,” the motion noted. “The defense needs additional time to complete its own investigation into the incident for which Defendant is charged, as well as the surrounding circumstances, including potential mitigation.”
Parrish said that the potential death penalty element means that the defense “must, in effect, prepare for two trials.” He added that the period of two months since he entered his appearance in the case is “simply inadequate” to complete the investigation and preparation needed for a capital murder trial.
In addition to the motion, Parrish, executive director of the Arkansas Public Defender Commission, wrote a letter to Judge Lindsey regarding the request.
“The defense team is working diligently on both the guilt/innocence and mitigation phases of this case. But, due to the complexities of the case as well as what we are attempting to develop, additional time is needed to properly work this case. Further complications exist due to the proximity of potential witnesses for the defense.”
Defense attorney Gregg E. Parrish, letter to court accompanying motion for continuance, March 29
Parrish said that he does not anticipate any objection from the state to a continuance. He added that he believes that the victim’s mother travels to Fayetteville from out of state for court appearances, and he wanted to provide the option of saving her unnecessary travel if the motion is granted.
He said that the state has been forthcoming with discovery, but that includes numerous records involving cell phones, social media and witness statements. He noted that did not include additional records the defense is trying to acquire.
UPDATE: On April 3, Judge Mark Lindsay granted the request and signed an order resetting the trial date for July 6.