News

Conference may set murder trial date

After Monday, the dates should be known to begin the first of two showpiece murder trials for which Milam County has waited almost two years.

Prosecutor Bill Torrey told The Reporter a scheduling conference is set for Monday afternoon to discuss setting trial dates for Brandon Cotton and Tanner Baker, who are accused of capital murder in the April 25, 2011, slaying of Sandra “Sandy” Phillips of San Gabriel.

Prosecutor Bill Torrey, who took office Jan. 1, has decided to seek the death penalty for Cotton, who is accused of firing the shotgun blast which killed Mrs. Phillips. That’s the same decision former Prosecutor Kerry Spears had made.

Torrey said Cotton’s case will come to trial first.

Spears had announced she would seek life without parole for Baker.

The cases have been delayed several times.

Cotton was originally to have gone on trial Oct. 9, 2012, and Baker on Jan. 7, 2013, but the cases were delayed as Cotton’s lead attorney, Russ Hunt Sr., was arguing a capital murder trial in Waco.


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2013-02-21 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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