Fla. murder suspect asks for trial delay

Sunday, January 21, 2007

INVERNESS, Fla. -- Attorneys for a man accused of kidnapping, raping and then burying alive a 9-year-old girl are seeking to delay their client's murder trial.

John Couey's attorneys say the Feb. 12 trial date should be pushed back so they can question the seven witnesses added to prosecutors' list earlier this month, including a jailer who says the suspect gave him details of the slaying.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for the March 2005 slaying of Jessica Lunsford, whose body was found when Couey told authorities where to look near her Homosassa home in central Florida. Couey has pleaded not guilty to the charges of first-degree murder, sexual battery on a child, kidnapping and battery.

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