Attorney seeks delay in Derrick Peete aggravated murder trial

Staff report


The attorney for a Detroit man charged with aggravated murder in a notorious Nov. 11, 2012, Warren gunbattle has sought help from the 11th District Court of Appeals to have her client’s trial date moved back.

Trumbull County prosecutors, meanwhile, have filed their own motion, asking the appeals court to deny Atty. Heidi Hanni’s motion, calling it an attempt to “stall the start of this trial indefinitely.”

Derrick Peete, 24, is scheduled to go on trial Nov. 12 before Judge Ronald Rice of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court in the death of Marco Dukes, 32, and the wounding of another man.

Hanni asked the judge Oct. 18 to delay the trial because of drug charges Peete faces in Cleveland federal court tied to a large local-state-federal investigation into drug dealing that was revealed in the spring.

Authorities nicknamed the investigation “Little D-Town.” The D is a reference to Detroit.

Hanni argued that the delay is necessary because Peete faces a possible life-prison sentence in the federal case. Judge Rice said Peete also faces a possible life-prison sentence in his court.

The next pretrial conference in Peete’s federal case is Nov. 20. Peete is one of 21 defendants being tried together on the federal drug charges.

LuWayne Annos, an assistant Trumbull County prosecutor, also argued that Hanni can’t appeal the judge’s decision to refuse the delay because such a decision is not a “final appealable order.”

Steps already have been taken to bring a Michigan witness to Trumbull County for the trial, Annos said in her motion.

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