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Cody murder trial set for spring 2013

It will be at least another nine months before a Cody man charged in connection with the Feb. 26 murder of his wife will be put on trial.

At a hearing last Wednesday, District Court Judge Robert Skar set a tentative March 15, 2013 trial date for the first-degree murder case against 29-year-old Myron J. Friday. However, there’s another case already scheduled for March 15 at the Park County Courthouse, so if that matter is not settled and goes to trial, Friday’s trial will wait until May 20.

One of the reasons for the relatively long wait between now and the trial is that the case is expected to take quite a bit of time to try: five weeks have been set aside.

Friday waived his right to a speedy trial — a trial within 180 days of his arraignment — the day of the hearing before Judge Skar. Without a waiver of that right, Friday would have had to go on trial by late September.

Park County Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Skoric has filed notice that his office intends to seek the death penalty for Friday.

An autopsy concluded that 44-year-old Julie Friday was killed by repeated stabbings from a screwdriver, court records say.

Cody police have said Myron Friday’s phone was found near his wife’s body, along with bloody shoe prints potentially matching his footwear.

To convict Friday — who pleaded not guilty to the charge in March — prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Friday not only was the one who committed the murder but also that he did so “purposely and with premeditated malice.”

At a preliminary hearing, Deputy Park County Attorney Tim Blatt cited a report that Friday had threatened to kill his wife before the murder as evidence of premeditation. Friday’s court-appointed attorney, Nick Beduhn, argued that the crime scene indicated whoever committed the murder appeared to have done so in a rage, not with a plan.

There has been no indication of what defense Friday will present at trial.

State Public Defender Diane Lozano, who supervises all of Wyoming’s public defenders, is helping represent Friday in the case.

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