Murder, torture trials for Sean Bryant to remain separate
Sean Bryant, facing a murder charge in the death of Stan Norman, will have two separate trials for the allegations he faces.
Bryant, 52, is accused of murder in the April 15, 2018, death of Norman, 70. Bryant faces different accusations of torture, inflicting great bodily injury and manufacturing a controlled substance — charges stemming from May 2018 allegations that he beat his girlfriend, court records state.
Nevada County prosecutors sought to have the two cases combined. However, Superior Court Judge Linda Sloven on Tuesday decided to keep them separate.
Sloven cited what she called the inflammatory nature of the murder case influencing a jury on the torture charges, if the two cases were combined.
“It’s a call that’s completely within the judge’s discretion,” Assistant District Attorney Chris Walsh said, adding he could again request a combined trial in the future.
In a court filing defense attorney David Brooks, who represents Bryant, states the girlfriend said she was alone with Norman when Bryant left to get Michael McCauley, 42, who also faces a murder charge in Norman’s death.
Prosecutors say in court documents that Bryant grew angry when he heard Norman had made inappropriate comments to his girlfriend and her daughters. He began beating Norman, at one point leaving to collect McCauley, who helped in the attack.
“Notably absent from her statement is any explanation of any attempt to call a friend, family, law enforcement, 911, nor a neighbor (any of which would have been the logical and appropriate thing to do),” Brooks states in documents.
According to Brooks, the girlfriend knew Norman had tried to kiss her teenage daughter and made an inappropriate statement to her. She had both motive and opportunity.
The girlfriend faces no charges in connection with Norman’s death.
Bryant and McCauley are scheduled for a two-day preliminary hearing starting on April 23. Both men have pleaded not guilty. No trial date has been set.
To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4239.
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