FAIRFIELD — Ethan Spray had already reached a plea bargain on charges related to a bank robbery in Jefferson County. But the court granted a motion by prosecutors to delay his sentencing until after he testifies against another defendant.

Both Spray and Ross Thornton are charged in the Jefferson County case as well as a bank robbery in Keokuk County. They took different approaches in defending themselves. Spray sought a deal, while Thornton is fighting the charges.

Part of Spray’s agreement with prosecutors is that he testifies at Thornton’s trial. So prosecutors asked that his sentencing be pushed back until after “the Defendant testifies truthfully” in that case. The court granted the motion, and set Spray’s sentencing for September 14.

Spray’s case is not the only area one in which a plea bargain comes into play. David Nordyke has reached an agreement as he faces a charge of attempted murder.

The order from Judge Lucy Gamon set Nordyke’s plea hearing for May 26 and, in a nod to the current COVID-19 pandemic, ordered it held by phone.

In other area cases:

• Walter Jones’ trial on charges of sexual abuse and lascivious acts with a child will take place in September. The change was not a surprise, as the previous trial date had been in April. Court documents show the request was made as discussions on a possible plea bargain continue.

• Skyler Stokes’ trial on charges of attempted murder, intimidation with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit a forcible felony has been continued to July 28.

Matt Milner can be reached at mmilner@ottumwacourier.com and followed on Twitter @mwmilner


Managing Editor

Matt Milner currently serves as the Courier's Managing Editor. Milner is a trained weather spotter and is usually outside if there are storms. He joined the Courier in 2002.

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