Curtis Jones trial for slaying Iowa City cab driver planned for October

IOWA CITY — Attorneys said Friday they are still planning for Curtis Jones to go to trial next month for slaying an Iowa City cab driver earlier this year.

Curtis C. Jones, 41, was scheduled to go to trial on Oct. 17 for the June 27 death of 46-year-old Ricky Lillie, an Iowa City cab driver. During a hearing on Friday, Judge Chad Kepros suggested moving the trial to Oct. 16. That date was not opposed by Jones’ defense team or the Johnson County Attorney’s Office.

“We’re preparing for that eventuality,” said Beth Beglin, Assistant Johnson County Attorney after the hearing.

One of Jones’ attorney’s — Dennis Cohen — declined to comment.

Iowa City police said Jones entered Lillie’s cab sometime around 11 p.m. on June 27. Lillie drove Jones non-stop to the 500 block of Ernest Street on the southern side of Iowa City. Authorities allege Jones then shot Lillie in the head. Lillie’s body was discovered during the early morning hours of June 28.

During the hearing, one of Jones’ attorneys, Quint Meyerdirk, said he had just received about 500 pages of documents related to the case from the Johnson County Attorney’s Office. He said he would also be picking up video evidence from the county attorney’s office on Friday.

Kepros set a status conference for Sept. 22.

Jones faces charges of first-degree murder, a Class A felony; and first-degree robbery, a Class B felony. A Class A felony carries an automatic life sentence while a Class B felony is punishable by up to 25 years in prison.

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