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Judge Grants Continuance In Lincoln Pickett Murder Trial
Updated August 31, 2016 7:00 AM
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(BEDFORD) - The trial for accused murderer Lincoln Pickett was to begin with jury selection on September 8. However the defense requested a verified emergency motion for a continuance so they can have expert witnesses review the state's evidence.

During a pretrial hearing on August 22, Superior Court I Judge Michael Robbins amended the defense's "motion to preserve evidence" by striking "including but not limited to a shirt worn by Richard Jamison and collected as evidence" on defense counsel's request.

Judge Robbins also heard argument on the defense counsel's motion to suppress evident.

Robbins then granted the defense's motion for a continuance over the prosecution's objections. Defense counsel was ordered to provide a timeline for expert review of evidence to the court by September 7 at 4 p.m. and Judge Robbins set the matter for further hearing on September 13 at 2 p.m.

No new trial date has been set.

Pickett has been held in the Lawrence County Jail without bond since his arrest on February 1 for the murder of 29-year-old Kamie Ratcliff.

He is also facing charges of obstruction of justice, abuse of a corpse, two counts of false informing and failure to report a dead body.

He is accused of shooting and killing Ratcliff and then burning her body behind his home in the 3400 block of U.S. 50 West in late January and lying to police about what happened.

The crime:

Ratcliff, of Mitchell, was reported missing in January.

Police say Lincoln Pickett and his wife Jasmine were the last to see Ratcliff.

On January 28, Indiana State Police found a body in a bonfire at the couple's home at 3414 U.S. 50 while serving a search warrant looking for evidence linked to Ratcliff's disappearance.

Lincoln admitted to police that he placed Ratcliff's body in the fire but originally denied that he had anything to do with her death. He has since been charged with her murder.

The couple told police at that time Ratcliff "freaked out" in the couple's vehicle and shot herself. Since then Lincoln's sister informed police that he had admitted to shooting "a buddy in the face" after Ratcliff began hitting Lincoln in the head. She told police that she had not seen Lincoln for about six months, when suddenly he appeared at her home the morning of January 22. She told police he was driving his red Chevrolet Blazer.

"Lincoln claimed he had not slept or ate in two weeks, and he was pacing and bouncing," according to the probable cause affidavit.

She told police Lincoln had a "Taurus gun in his pocket." Lincoln then allegedly gave the gun to his sister. Lincoln then asked his relative to borrow a vehicle. That is when the two drove to Lincoln's house. On the way they stopped at a gas station. While parked in the lot, Lincoln's sister told police that she saw blood splattered on the driver's side rear window of the Blazer.

Once at the Pickett home, Lincoln allegedly backed the Blazer into the garage.

According to the probable cause affidavit, on January 24, Mitchell Police Officer Matt England went to the Pickett home to talk to them about Ratcliff's disappearance. Lincoln told police that Ratcliff could be in Ellettsville with a man named Dillon.

Then on January 25, Officer England returned to the Pickett home and the couple told him they had left to go to Walmart to buy diapers and formula and when they returned Ratcliff was gone.

On January 28, police returned to the home with a warrant to search for Ratcliff's belongings. When officers arrived there was a fire burning behind the home. "Within the fire, officers located what appeared to be bones," the affidavit states.

According to the Lawrence County Police log, at 2:42 p.m. officers requested Huron Volunteer Fire Department to the Pickett home to extinguish a small bonfire.

Officers then secured a search warrant for Pickett's home. Inside they found a loaded handgun under a mattress and three long guns.

Pickett is charged with Ratcliff's murder and is being held without bond.

Pickett appeared before Judge Robbins on February 5 by video conference. At that time Judge Robbins entered a plea of not guilty and appointed him a public defender.

Jasmine appeared in court on February 11 on charges of charges of aiding, inducing or causing abuse of a corpse, obstruction of justice, false informing and failure to report a dead body. Lawrence County Superior Court I Judges Michael Robbins entered a not guilty plea on her behalf and appointed her a public defender. She is scheduled to appear in court for a pretrial conference on October 12 at 1 p.m.

She filed for divorce on August 22. Lincoln Pickett was service with the paperwork on August 29

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