After waiving his right to a preliminary hearing last month, Brandon L. Church on Jan. 5 pled not guilty to murder in the second degree for the killing of his girlfriend’s father last summer in Platte City. Church’s next court appearance will be 9 a.m. Feb. 9 at the Platte County Courthouse.
Church, then 20, and his then-girlfriend Sara Deyo were at the Deyo residence in Platte City on July 22, 2011. According to the probable cause statement filed by the PCPD, Church and his girlfriend, Sarah Deyo, the victim’s daughter, had earlier returned to her parents’ home from the Platte County Fair. Kerry Deyo’s wife reported being awakened by her daughter and Church arguing. Kerry Deyo attempted to intercede in the argument and he and Church began to fight. She said Church ended up sitting on top of her husband and struck him repeatedly in the face with his fists.
After the incident, both Sarah Deyo and Church left the scene and were apprehended by the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Platte County Sheriff’s Department in southern Platte County. Church was arrested as a suspect in the Platte City murder and Sarah Deyo for driving while intoxicated. Sara Deyo reportedly told a Platte County Sheriff’s Deputy Church had struck her father in her defense. Later, while in custody at the Platte County Jail, Sarah Deyo said “she was extremely drunk and all she remembers is bits and pieces of what happened.”
Church is currently being held in the Platte County Jail in lieu of a $250,000 cash-only bond. A motion to lower the bond amount was denied in September after the mother of Kerry Deyo spoke before the court. If convicted, Church faces up to life in prison.
After almost a year since his arrest, Daryl LeMasters, of Platte City, finally has a trial date. At a hearing on Jan. 5, a trial date was set for 9 a.m. June 25. The pre-trial will be held 2 p.m. June 7.
For the full story, read the Jan. 18 edition of The Platte County Citizen.