Hefner trial date moved back

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The defense asked for a postponement in the criminal trial of Justin Hefner that was scheduled to start Sept. 17.

Hefner appeared in custody for what was supposed to be a final pretrial conference Sept. 12

“I know the date has been set, and I apologize to the court, but Mr. Hefner wants me to talk to his wife as a possible defense witness,” said public defender William McGrath. “I haven’t been able to contact her and neither has Mr. Hefner.”

Edgar County State’s Attorney Mark Isaf did not object to a continuance because a state witness is not available for the Sept. 17 trial date.

Judge Steven Garst asked the defendant if he understood the request for a delay and agreed to his trial being delayed. Hefner concurred with the change.

A new trial date was set for Oct. 29 and 30.

Hefner has remained in custody since February 2018 when he appeared at the Edgar County Jail, armed and wearing body armor, claiming to be a federal agent in town to make arrests. He has undergone several psychiatric evaluations and stays in mental health hospitals in the meantime.

He was ruled fit for trial, over a defense assertion otherwise, during a fitness hearing in late August.