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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Cunningham aims to continue preliminary hearing

  • The lawyer for Brock Cunningham, a Dodge City man charged in connection with the death of a 3 1/2-year-old girl, has filed a motion to continue a contested preliminary hearing set for May 28.
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  • The lawyer for Brock Cunningham, a Dodge City man charged in connection with the death of a 3 1/2-year-old girl, has filed a motion to continue a contested preliminary hearing set for May 28.
    Daniel Monnat of Wichita, who will represent Cunningham in court, requested a new date for the hearing be set at a status hearing scheduled for April 25.
    The charges against Cunningham stem from his alleged role in the November 2008 death of Natalie Pickle. He is facing charges of first-degree murder and child abuse. At the time of Pickle's death, Cunningham reportedly told investigators she had fallen off the bed.
    In a document filed Friday with Ford County District Court, Monnat described the cause of Pickle's death as "a matter of intense dispute" and said it will "likely be the subject of complex expert medical testimony both at the preliminary hearing and at the trial." Monnat's wording suggested Cunningham will likely plead not guilty to the charges and seek a jury trial. He also said a significant amount of time will be required for counsel to be prepared to adequately represent Cunningham. In his motion for continuance, Monnat said the state has had more than four years to research and compile evidence against his client, while evidence was made available for the defense's discovery in late March of this year.
    He referred to Natalie's death as tragic and said the discovery includes 14 computer disks containing autopsy and other photographs as well as 664 pages of law enforcement reports, medical reports and interview transcripts.
    Cunningham waived his right to a speedy preliminary hearing at his first appearance in court Jan. 17. Preliminary hearings are usually scheduled within 90-days of a suspect's first appearance. He will appear in court April 25 for a status hearing.

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