NEW INFO: James Emerson Trial Moved to January

By: WSAW Staff
By: WSAW Staff

The trial for the man accused of killing Rhonda Mertes is now scheduled for January of 2009.

Prosecutors tell us 44-year old James Emerson was set to face the jury in September, but after hearing the defense needs more time to prepare, the judge ruled it would be held after the first of the year.

He also ruled two sexual assault cases on Emerson's record can be brought up during the murder trial, after prosecutors successfully argued the incidents show a motive in Mertes' death.

She was found beaten and strangled on the 1200 block of First Ave. in 1999.

Emerson was arrested last year after police say forensic tests showed his DNA on her body.

Emerson is also charged with battery by a prisoner after officers say he choked a fellow jail inmate in April.

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