Hlibichuk case to head to trial
The felony case against the Belfield man accused of attempted murder will likely go to trial. Kevin McCabe, defense attorney for Brett Hlibichuk, said at a pretrial conference Tuesday the state's plea deal is "not acceptable for my client," thoug...
The felony case against the Belfield man accused of attempted murder will likely go to trial.
Kevin McCabe, defense attorney for Brett Hlibichuk, said at a pretrial conference Tuesday the state’s plea deal is “not acceptable for my client,” though the details of the deal aren’t public.
McCabe said a two-day jury trial will be likely.
Hlibichuk, 23, is charged with Class AA felony attempted murder after he allegedly stabbed his uncle twice in the abdomen and once in the neck with a sharp instrument on Oct. 20. His uncle was taken to the hospital for life-saving surgery, according to court documents.
Hlibichuk pleaded not guilty to the charge at a preliminary hearing in December. He remains at the Dickinson Adult Detention Center on a $250,000 cash bond. Southwest District Judge Zane Anderson granted McCabe and Assistant Stark County State’s Attorney Jim Hope a 1-week extension to possibly reach a negotiated plea agreement before scheduling the jury trial.
David Viator also appeared in court for a pretrial conference Tuesday, and will likely accept the state’s plea deal, his public defender, McCabe, said.
“I think we can come up with something in the next week,” he said.
Viator, 38, of Reno, Nev., is charged with Class C felony terrorizing. Officials say a homicidal call placed to a national veterans hotline the evening of Sept. 14 that led to a district-wide school “soft” lockdown the next day was traced to Viator’s South Main Street residence.
Assistant Stark County State’s Attorney Tom Gehrz said he thinks “we’re very close” to reaching a negotiated plea agreement. At a previous pretrial conference in February , McCabe and Gehrz discussed the possibility of finding a mental health program that will accept Viator as a patient.
A jury trial has been scheduled for April 8, but Gehrz said he thinks they “should have a deal before then.”