A preliminary hearing date has been set for a Vernon County teenager accused of killing two of his friends.

Matthew Garrett Mason appeared in court today for a pre-trial conference where a judge scheduled the next step in the case, the prelim at 9 a.m. on August 12th.

The probable cause statement does not include a motive or indicate what may have led up to the fatal knife attack of 14 year-old Kylie Leyva (l.) and 18 year-old Anne "Annie" Reed last month.

A preliminary hearing is where prosecutors have to lay out the basis for their case and a judge determines whether or not the state has enough evidence for the case to proceed to trial.

Lawyers for Mason can do one of two things:
  • They can waive (concede that prosecutors have enough evidence to take their client to trial)
  • They can let the state lay out their evidence and let the judge decide whether the case is bound over to Circuit Court.

The state does not have to share any of their evidence with defense attorneys prior to a preliminary hearing. Some prosecutors do, some don't.

The probable cause statement in this case is very vague. Defense attorneys probably want it to stay that way as to not taint a potential jury pool so they will probably waive the preliminary hearing.

If the case is bound over for court.....defense attorney's will likely request a change of venue for the trial.

UPDATE 07-02-09: The state filed a motion to obtain DNA evidence from Mason....defense attorney had no objection to the request.