Sanders murder trial scheduled for March

Monday, December 14, 2009 | 6:05 p.m. CST; updated 7:41 p.m. CST, Monday, December 14, 2009

COLUMBIA — A March 15 trial date was set Monday for Daniel Sanders, who is accused of murdering his mother, 53-year-old Helen Sanders.

Sanders, 20, was indicted Dec. 5, 2008, on charges of second-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence in a felony prosecution.

On Aug. 14, 2008, Columbia police pulled him over near Stadium Boulevard and Audubon Drive on suspicion of driving erratically. After searching his car, they found his mother's body wrapped in a blanket next to what appeared to be a newly purchased shovel in the trunk, according to previous Missourian reports.

A report on the autopsy performed on Helen Sanders indicated there was a significant amount of fluid in her lungs at the time of her death. She also had a broken sternum and broken ribs, according to previous Missourian reports.

Police declined to comment on the specific cause of death when the report was released.

Jury selection will begin in Adair County on March 12.

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