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By CANDACE MIERS

Contributing Editor

It has been more than two years since the murder of Stephanie Pepper Sims, an English instructor at Tech, yet her trial still hangs in limbo with no court date for her accused murderer in sight. The trial’s latest delay in a series of setbacks developed May 3, after a scheduled hearing was postponed. The hearing was to determine whether 2nd Judicial District Attorney Walter May should be recused or removed from participating, to avoid conflict of interest from the case. Defense attorney Joseph Clark filed for a motion to have the state Attorney General’s Office try the case after May commented to the media about the various delays 2nd Judicial District Judge Clason had granted the defense. May reacted to Clark’s motion by asking that it not be heard by any of the 2nd Judicial District judges. “It’s a messy thing,” Jordan Blum, The Monroe News-Star reporter who has followed the Sims’ case, said. “It may even go to the state Supreme Court.” Blum said the delays are the 2nd district court judges versus the district attorney. “There is no telling where it all will go,” he said. All these motions are just one setback after another while Sims’ case waits in the balance. Previous setbacks on Sims’ case include requesting for a change of venue, which is where a court changes the place in which the trial will be held; a recusal motion to disqualify the 2nd District Court Judge Jennifer Clason as a judge in the case; and the venue ruling which moved the trial from Jackson Parish to Claiborne Parish. Sims, 29, was reported missing when she did not show up for work in January 2003. Her body was found in the Jackson-Bienville Wildlife Management area in Jackson Parish one month after she was reported missing. She died from a single gunshot wound to the chest.


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