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Rape trial set for February

A trial date was set for a man accused of raping a teenage girl in 2011.

John Paul Maxwell, 44, will have a pretrial hearing on Feb. 5, 2013.

In court earlier this month, his attorney, Joe Don Winningham, had argued there was no probable cause for the charge. Circuit Judge Charles Clawson said Nov. 1 he needed to “ponder” what he had heard and would issue a ruling later. He left Maxwell on the docket, and a bench trial is now scheduled for Feb. 25.

In other cases in Van Buren County Circuit Court on Nov. 14:

• Stacy J. Wright, 28, facing two misdemeanor drug charges and one felony — possession of drug paraphernalis, will be back in court on Feb. 5, 2013. The state Crime Lab had not completed its report, Deputy Prosecutor Graham Jones said. Wright was arrested July 3.

• Virginia Hargrove, charged with forgery, will be in court next week. There is a problem with a video in the case. Jones said the video appears to play on only one computer and they’re trying to make it work on others. Public defender Ralph Blagg asked the court to pay for a handwriting expert. Clawson said he will rule on the motion Nov. 27.

• A second-degree battery charge against Brittanie R. Alexander was nol prossed. Jones said the alleged victim had not been in contact with his office. Alexander was held on charges from another county.

• John Brandon Kocher, facing drug and weapons charges, will be back in court on Nov. 27.

• Donald Ray Bryant’s case was continued until Nov. 27 after defender Blagg said he had not yet seen a video. Bryant is charged with delivery of a controlled substance.

• Kevin Widener, a former Clinton school employee charged with second-degree sexual assault, was scheduled to be in court on Nov. 27 after his attorney, Matthew Adlong, asked for a continuance.

• Kaleb Kirkendoll rejected a plea offer and a trial date was set for Feb. 27, 2013. Kirkendoll is facing charges from March 12, July 2 and July 12 on charges ranging from misdemeanors of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct to felony charges of first-degree battery and aggravated assault. Accepting the state’s offer would have meant Kirkendoll would have to serve 100 percent of his sentence. An Act III evaluation found him competent to aid in his own defense.

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