Devlin trial to stay in Washington County

Monday, August 6, 2007 | 11:57 a.m. CDT; updated 3:46 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 11, 2008

POTOSI, Mo. (AP) — The Michael Devlin kidnapping trial in the Shawn Hornbeck case will be heard in Washington County — but with an imported jury.

Lawyers for both sides agreed during a court hearing Monday to allow for a jury to be brought in. A date for the trial has not been set. A judge is expected to decide Sept. 10 what county the jury will come from.

Devlin, a 41-year-old former pizzeria manager, was arrested in January. Authorities say Shawn and another missing boy, 13-year-old Ben Ownby of Franklin County, were found at Devlin’s apartment in the St. Louis suburb Kirkwood in a case that drew international attention.

Ben had been missing for four days. Shawn had been missing since 2002. He was 11 at the time of his abduction, and turned 16 last month.

Devlin also faces charges in Franklin County in the Ownby case, in St. Louis County, and in the federal system.

Devlin’s attorney, Michael Kielty, said he will argue for a jury to be brought from one of Missouri’s larger metropolitan areas.

“All we want is a level playing field — it doesn’t matter what venue,” Kielty said.

Washington County prosecutor John Rupp said he would oppose that motion and wants a jury drawn from a rural county nearby.

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