Murder Trial To Move Forward In Laclede County

26th Circuit Judge Matthew Hamner ruled Monday that the murder trial of 45-year-old Christopher English of Eldon will move forward next month in Laclede County on a change of venue from Miller County. English is charged in the 2019 death of Aaron Brantley of Columbia.

Brantley’s body was found in Miller County on March 17th of 2019; he was reported missing on February 8th. Authorities say Brantley died of a gunshot wound after a drug deal that went wrong.

56-year-old William Lucas of Kaiser has already pleaded guilty in the case and is serving a two-year sentence for being an accessory to motor vehicle tampering.

A third defendant, 53-year-old Daniel Cole of Kaiser, will go to trial later this month on a charge of abandonment of a corpse.

Miller County Prosecutor Ben Winfrey initially charged Cole and Lucas with murder and armed criminal action, but those charges were dismissed.

The trial is expected to last four days.