Geurts motion to dismiss charges taken under advisement
A request by the mother of a two year old Gering girl to dismiss charges against her in the toddler's death has been taken under advisement by Scotts Bluff County District Judge Leo Dobrovolny after a short hearing Wednesday.
Bell Island, the attorney for 25 year old Charyse Geurts, maintains in his motion to quash that the accessory to murder and false reporting charges filed against his client do not meet the three year requirement of the state's statute of limitations. Island says the indictment and resulting charges were filed last month, four and a half years after the July 2008 murder, and therefore should be dismissed.
But Prosecutor Jim Zimmerman maintained Wednesday the Geurts charges can be filed within seven years of two year old Juliette Geurts death because they "piggy-back" on felony child abuse charges filed against 26 year old Dustin Chauncey. The state's child abuse statute allows filing of charges within seven years of the crime.
Island contends the accessory and false reporting charges are separate filings from the child abuse with their own set of evidence and facts, and should not be given the seven year window for filing. Island was given ten days to file a brief in response to Zimmerman before Dobrovolny makes a decision.
Geurts remains free on $5,000 cash bond. Chauncey, Geurts' boyfriend at the time, is in Colorado, where he has been sentenced to prison on unrelated charges. Local authorities continue to work through the necessary interstate compact requirements to bring Chauncey back to face the local charges.
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