Stanley Dishon pleads not guilty in the murder of his niece - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Stanley Dishon pleads not guilty in the murder of his niece, Jessica

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SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Stanley Dishon pleaded not guilty Thursday in Bullitt Circuit Court in the 1999 kidnapping and murder of his niece, 17-year-old Jessica Dishon.

Special Judge Charles Simms III set a trial date for Sept. 22, 2014 and ordered prosecutors to turn over evidence in the case within 60 days. He scheduled two weeks for the trial.

Assistant Bullitt Commonwealth's Attorney Michael Ferguson told Simms his office had not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty against Stanley Dishon. The judge gave prosecutors 90 days to decide.

Ferguson asked Simms to keep Dishon's bond at $500,000 cash. Dishon was indicted for Jessica's murder on Oct. 2, 2013 while already serving time on a rape and sodomy charge.

The next court date was set for Sept. 22 in Bullitt Circuit Court, though Simms said some hearings could be held in Nelson County, one of the three counties in which he presides.

Both Bullitt County circuit court judges recused themselves because of ties to the case.

Judge Elise Spainhour removed herself from the case because her husband defended David "Bucky" Brooks in a previous trial.

Brooks -- who had been accused of murdering Jessica Dishon -- spent two-and-a-half years in jail before the charges were eventually dropped in 2003.

Judge Rodney Burress recused himself from the case earlier this month because, prior to becoming a judge, Burress represented Bullitt County Sheriff's Detective Charles Mann in a contempt of court case.

Mann had testified during the Brooks' trial.

Jessica was 17 and a high school senior when she disappeared from her home in Shepherdsville on Sept. 10, 1999. Her body was found 17 days later in a wooded area a few miles from her home.

An attorney for Dishon declined to comment after the hearing.

Bullitt Commonwealth's Attorney Mike Mann has said his office will not talk about evidence in the case.  

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