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Man's Trial In Parents' Deaths Delayed

Last updated on Tuesday, May 28, 2013

(WINCHESTER) - The trial of an eastern Indiana man charged with killing his father and helping his ailing mother kill herself has been postponed until September, more than three years after he was arrested.

But the trial of 36-year-old Brian "Scott" Hartman on charges of murder and assisting a suicide has been postponed before, and attorneys for both sides are waiting to see if the Indiana Supreme Court will agree to hear his appeal challenging how police questioned him, The Star Press reports.

Randolph County prosecutors allege that Hartman told investigators in 2010 that he and his parents had "made a plan" in which he would fatally shoot his father while he was sleeping, then provide his 52-year-old mother with enough medication to take her own life. Relatives said Cheri Hartman had been diagnosed three years ago with brain cancer.

Hartman appealed, arguing that detectives had improperly obtained his incriminating statements because he was questioned without a defense lawyer. But the state Court of Appeals rejected his argument, saying Hartman told detectives he wanted to speak with them after being told about a search warrant for his parents' home. The Indiana Supreme Court has not yet decided whether to take up the case.

An autopsy was not conducted on his mother because it was assumed the death was a result of her illness, and her remains were later cremated at the direction of her son, according to court documents.

Hartman's trial was postponed last week and is now scheduled to begin Sept. 6.

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