Kahler hearing on murder charge pushed back to December

Thursday, October 7, 2010 | 5:29 p.m. CDT; updated 11:20 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, October 26, 2010

COLUMBIA – James Kraig Kahler's preliminary hearing has now been set for Dec. 21 to 22.

The defense team for the former director of the Columbia Water and Light Department asked for a deference Wednesday, and Osage County Magistrate Judge Jon Stephen Jones granted the request. The hearing was originally scheduled for Oct. 25 to 26; this is the third time it has been delayed.

"The defense had an attorney who was working on the case leave the firm," said Gavin Young, spokesman for Kansas Attorney General Steve Six.

Kahler, 46, is charged with a single count of capital murder in the November 2009 shootings of his wife, Karen, 44; their daughters Emily, 18, and Lauren, 16; and Karen's grandmother, Dorothy Wight, 89.

The December hearing will be held in Osage County, Kan., and Jones will "decide whether or not there's enough evidence to proceed with the trial," Young said.

Kahler could face the death penalty if convicted, according to a previous Missourian report. 

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