A preliminary hearing for child abuse and murder suspect Brock Cunningham was continued Thursday on a motion filed by the defense.
A preliminary hearing for child abuse and murder suspect Brock Cunningham was continued Thursday on a motion filed by the defense. The hearing was originally scheduled for May 28. The charges against Cunningham stem from his alleged connection with the November 2008 death of Natalie Pickle. Cunningham's defense attorney Trevor Riddle asked Judge Keith Whitney to set the date for the preliminary hearing in October. In the motion for continuance filed with the court last week, the defense claimed the state has had more than four years to research and compile evidence against Cunningham, while evidence was made available for the defense's discovery in late March of this year. Riddle said an October date would give the defense roughly six months after receiving the discovery files to make their case. Court documents show the discovery for the case includes 14 computer disks containing autopsy and other photographs as well as 664 pages of law enforcement reports, medical reports and interview transcripts. Ford County Attorney Natalie Randall argued against Riddle's motion and said her office has been as cooperative as possible in providing the evidence. "A May 28 preliminary hearing date seems reasonable," she said. Randall also added that Cunningham retained council from Riddle's law firm within hours of the child's death and said the defense has "been in the case the whole time." After hearing from both sides of the case, Judge Whitney granted a 90-day continuance for the hearing. "By August 28 we will have a preliminary hearing," Whitney said. "And we'll go from there." 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. Cunningham's next appearance will be scheduled with court calendars. He is currently out on a $75,000 bond.