Defense in Ormsby murder case files motion to dismiss charges | TheUnion.com

Defense in Ormsby murder case files motion to dismiss charges

Christopher Bancroft

The attorney for murder suspect Christopher Bancroft has filed a motion to dismiss the charges against him, essentially appealing the judge's decision to set the case for trial after the preliminary hearing of the evidence.

That judge had already dismissed the charges against Schennal Gomez, Bancroft's co-defendant in the murder of Donald Ormsby in June 2016.

Residents in the 1600 block of Countrywood Lane found Ormsby's body on their property, partially covered by dirt and leaves. Investigators considered Bancroft a person of interest in the death, but delayed charging him until after he served a sentence on an unrelated Placer County burglary. Bancroft was booked into Nevada County Jail this May on the murder charge, and Gomez was arrested and charged soon thereafter.

During that preliminary hearing in July, testimony was presented that Bancroft, Gomez and Ormsby planned to burglarize a Countrywood Lane home and that Gomez saw Bancroft slash at Ormsby's head with a shovel.

The judge also heard testimony that Bancroft met a friend in Ormsby's car the day after the slaying. The pair drove to Roseville to shop, and Bancroft tried unsuccessfully to use Ormsby's bank card.

Nevada County Superior Court Judge Linda Sloven found credibility issues with a witness, however, and ruled there was not enough evidence to try Gomez.

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During Bancroft's formal arraignment Friday, Bancroft's attorney, Michael Phillips, entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

Phillips has filed a motion to set aside the information against Bancroft, which includes a claim that the prosecution used double hearsay during the preliminary examination, The hearing was scheduled for Oct. 5.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at lizk@theunion.com.

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