Topeka man’s trial in mother’s death delayed again

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The trial of a Topeka man charged with killing his mother has been delayed again, and is now scheduled to start next January, more than three years after the woman was killed.

Jason Hachmeister is charged with premeditated first-degree murder in the September 2011 death of his 58-year-old mother, Sheila Hachmeister. She was killed at a home she shared with her son. A coroner testified earlier that Sheila Hachmeister was stabbed several times but died from strangulation.

The murder trial was postponed Monday because Hachmeister’s attorney, Mark Bennett, is involved in a complex drug case in federal court in Kansas City, Kansas. Hachmeister’s trial was originally scheduled to start in January 2014, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

Hachmeister’s trial will now start Jan. 12, 2015, and is expected to last about three weeks.

Shawnee County District Court Judge Richard Anderson asked Hachmeister several times Monday if he agreed to the January start date, and Hachmeister said he agreed.

Hachmeister is serving a prison term of more than seven years for recent convictions to more than 100 counts of sexual exploitation of children. Even with that sentence, however, he must be tried within a certain time based on a speedy trial statute, Anderson said.

While Anderson said it would be best for Bennett to remain on Hachmeister’s case because of its complexity, he also instructed the public defender’s office to assign an attorney to the case to act as a second-chair defense attorney. The public defender then would be able to step into the case as Hachmeister’s attorney if needed.


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