A Knox County judge set a July 10, 2017, trial date for the two men suspected in the shooting death of 15-year-old Fulton High School sophomore Zaevion Dobson.
Christopher Drone Bassett and Richard Gregory Williams III were indicted for first-degree murder in the case. The two are expected to face trial together and neither of their attorneys said if they're going to try to obtain separate trials.
Bassett appeared for Friday's indictment reading from Tousdale Turner Correctional Center, where he is serving a gun charges sentence. His attorney, T. Scott Jones, asked the judge to keep Bassett in Knox County. The judge denied his request, saying that Bassett will stay in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Corrections.
Jones also requested for authorities to preserve any evidence from gunshot residue swab of his hands or GSR test. Jones said the test was taken just after Dobson's death in December, but not sent to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation until May.
"Effectively, the state didn't test something that has the possibility of being completely exculpatory for my client Christopher Bassett,” Jones said."I’m not going to compound one tragedy with a second tragedy by having my client tried before he ever has his day in court,” Jones said.
The evidence lists in the case include bullet fragments, guns, clothing and swabs collected by the Knoxville Police Department.
A KPD spokesperson said the department can't comment on evidence used in open cases.
The state set a deadline of Dec. 9 for prosecution to file for enhanced punishment for repeat convictions. Williams will head to trial for charges unrelated to Dobson's murder on Nov. 29.
Aubrey Davis, Williams' attorney, said Friday his client has no connection with any murder or attempted murder.
Bassett heads to court again on Nov. 4 for his status hearing.
Zenobia Dobson, Zaevion's mother, attended Friday's indictment reading.
“I’m Zae's No. 1 fan and I’m going to support him from earth to heaven,” Zenobia Dobson said. “He will always be in my heart and my soul, and I’m going to fight for him the best way I know how. Justice will be served.”
Authorities are holding Bassett and Williams on $1 million bond.
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