Circuit Court Judge Jim Hill tentatively set the date for Jordan Tyler Durden, 24, of Moody for June 18. Durden is charged with the 2008 capital murder of his grandfather, John Calvin Durden, 69, and the attempted murder of his grandmother, Eva Durden, both of Moody.
Hill took over the case after Presiding Circuit Court Judge Charles Robinson retired last year.
“I want to get this tried this year,” Hill told prosecutors and attorneys representing Durden at a status hearing Monday afternoon.
Hill set another status hearing for April 24.
At Monday’s hearing, defense attorney Stan Brown asked the judge not to allow prosecutors to talk about or show what is called the “To Do List” to jurors.
“It’s highly prejudicial,” Brown said. “I don’t see how it ties into this case.”
Assistant District Attorney Carol Boone said the “To Do List” is a hand-written letter found in Durden’s bedroom shortly after the murder. She said family members could testify that the handwriting is Durden’s and is identical to other documents written by the defendant.
She said at the top of Durden’s “To Do List” was to kill his grandparents.
Authorities said the “To Do List” also included names of several women Durden had allegedly planned to rape, torture and kill, after he stole his grandparents’ money and valuables and loaded the items into their vehicle.
Defense attorneys also filed a motion requesting that the trial be moved outside the county because of the extensive media coverage by the local newspaper.
Brown said the media has reported that Durden “confessed to the crime,” making it impossible to get an impartial jury, but Boone said that was only speculation on Brown’s part.
Hill said he would take up the motion during the trial week.
During a hearing before Robinson last year, Boone said Durden provided a confession, which was taped on a CD, when the defendant was incarcerated in a Florida jail.
Durden was captured in Florida after fleeing his grandparents’ Moody home in their van.
Durden allegedly stabbed his grandfather to death with a kitchen knife and attempted to cut his grandmother’s throat with a pocketknife and a piece of glass from a broken flower vase he hit his grandmother over the head with.
Contact David Atchison at firstname.lastname@example.org.