The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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August 26, 2013

Security tight at arraignment of suspect in murder of girl

LAMAR, Mo. — Wearing a protective vest, handcuffs and shackles, Bobby Bourne Jr. glanced briefly at an uncle and aunt of Adriaunna Horton as he entered a courtroom Monday in Lamar, where he waived formal reading of the charges against him and was assigned counsel.

Bourne, 34, who is accused of kidnapping, raping and strangling the 12-year-old Golden City girl, provided affirmative responses to a few questions from the judge during his arraignment in Barton County Circuit Court but otherwise remained silent and was not required to enter a plea.

Security was beefed up for the hearing in the Barton County Courthouse, with about a dozen sheriff’s deputies and Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers stationed in the hallways and courtroom.

Bourne, who is being held at the Jasper County Jail in Carthage because of security concerns, was brought to Lamar well before the scheduled time of the hearing and was kept secluded in an antechamber of the courtroom.

The hearing was delayed a few minutes at the onset to give the defendant the opportunity to fill out an application for a public defender.

Associate Circuit Judge Charles Curless expressed surprise to learn that Bourne had yet to fill out an application since the local public defender’s office had filed an entry of appearance with the court on his behalf on Friday, and public defenders Joseph Zuzul and Frank Yankoviz appeared at the arraignment.

Zuzul explained that they had not been provided an opportunity by the Barton County sheriff’s office to see Bourne and give him an application despite the defendant having asked for a public defender sometime last week. The judge responded that he had asked the sheriff’s office repeatedly over the past week if the defendant had asked for an attorney and had not received a response for several days.

Bourne is charged with first-degree murder, forcible rape, statutory rape and child kidnapping. After he waived formal reading of the charges, the judge informed him of his rights, assigned him the counsel of the two public defenders and set a pre-hearing conference for Sept. 9 at 1 p.m.

Zuzul then filed motions invoking his client’s right to remain silent and asking the court to order the sheriff’s office to allow the public defenders access to their client during normal business hours. The defense also asked the judge to order law enforcement not to destroy any evidence they collect, and the judge granted both motions.

Bourne is a former co-worker and friend of James Horton, the girl’s father. The Lockwood man was stopped and arrested in Golden City about 2 hours and 10 minutes after the girl is believed to have been abducted from the town’s park on Aug. 19.

Bourne initially denied having anything to do with her disappearance but later admitted that he’d taken her to an abandoned house where he tried to get her to tell him where her father was, according to a probable-cause affidavit. He told investigators that she tried to flee and fell, and died as a result of the fall. But an autopsy determined that she was strangled.

The girl’s parents did not appear at the arraignment of the defendant, but her paternal grandmother, an aunt and uncle, and other family and friends were present. They declined to speak to reporters as they left the courthouse after the hearing.

     

Prosecution

Barton County Prosecutor Steven Kaderly said Monday that the Missouri attorney general has offered to have his office assist in the prosecution of Bobby Bourne Jr.

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