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Parole absconder's trial in teen's death delayed

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was published January 7, 2014 at 10:10 a.m.

darrell-dennis-left-is-escorted-from-court-tuesday-morning-after-a-hearing

Darrell Dennis, left, is escorted from court Tuesday morning after a hearing.

A judge on Tuesday delayed the trial for an eight-time absconder charged with killing a Little Rock teenager.

Darrell Dennis, who faces charges including capital murder, kidnapping and aggravated robbery in the May 10 death of 18-year-old Forrest Abrams, was arrested less than 30 hours after his release from the Pulaski County jail. He had been held there on an absconder warrant.

A June 17 article in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette revealed the lengthy parole-violation history of Dennis before his arrest, sparking a systemwide review of the state parole system that in turn led to a change in leadership and numerous policy shifts.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza last month granted Dennis' request for a new attorney. The Public Defender Commission subsequently hired attorney Bill James to represent Dennis.

On Tuesday, James told Piazza he was almost done the preliminary work on the case file but that the defense would not be ready for Dennis' previously scheduled Feb. 3 trial.

Piazza then set an April 30 trial date. A pretrial hearing is set for March 11.

Dennis didn't speak during the brief appearance.

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Displaying 1 - 4 of 4 total comments

drs01 says... January 7, 2014 at 10:52 a.m.

Justice delayed is justice denied.....why do our judges play along with these silly lawyer games? They had it right in the wild west...arrest today...trial tomorrow...and hanging the next day....beer and hymns optional.

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RoyDaMercer says... January 7, 2014 at 10:54 a.m.

I just stopped and saw the gallows in my old Ft Smith hometown last month. I'm sure we could find someone named Judge Parker in Arkansas to hang this scumbag

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TheBatt says... January 7, 2014 at 2:59 p.m.

Isn't it interesting that the "right to a speedy trial" only goes one-way. If the state drags its feet - a perp can be freed. If the accused drags his feet... and/or his defense team drags their feet (which is an acknowledged tool used by defense attorneys, as witnesses and their memories grow less reliable over time) - then that is all ok.

I'm all about a fair trial - but there really is little excuse for a law team to take months and months to only be nearly through browsing the case file.

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WowReally says... January 7, 2014 at 8:21 p.m.

How is it that I didn't have to open the article, but only see the picture in the email to know which one of these guys did it???? How could I tell it was about the black guy before even reading?? Stereotypes are there for a reason, people.

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