Fayette County Circuit Judge John Hatcher Monday heard and granted three motions by the state in a murder case that is finally approaching a trial date 20 years later.

Ed Rebrook, defense attorney for Robert Eugene Carroll, offered no objections as Fayette County assistant prosecutor Brian Parsons made his trio of requests. Carroll, 62, of Charlton Heights, is charged in the 1986 death of estranged wife Cathy Carroll in Montgomery.

Parsons began by asking the court to allow the presence at the state’s table of Fayette County Sheriff Bill Laird and a Fayette County sheriff’s deputy involved with the investigation.

The only caveat proffered by Rebrook, and agreed to by Hatcher and Parsons, was that the men appear in civilian clothes and not in uniform. Rebrook said that he plans to call both men as witnesses.

Hatcher also acquiesced to Parsons’ motion to allow jurors to view the home that was the crime scene two decades ago in Montgomery.

“We’ve gotten no response to our motion for a witness list from the defense,” argued Parsons, as he made a motion to compel discovery.

“We filed a notice of alibi,” Rebrook countered. “We will file a more complete witness list this afternoon, but the state gave me a list with over 100 names. They have not pared that down to date.”

Hatcher reprimanded the state for not doing so and also admonished both attorneys to settle all pre-trial motions before the proverbial rubber meets the road on Nov. 28.

“Get on the stick and pare this witness list down by Wednesday at 4 p.m.,” Hatcher demanded of Parsons.

“Ed Rebrook is to have the witness list — end of story. When we start this trial, I’ll be very upset if I’m hit with motions or complaints. If you don’t have all of your luggage on the train when it leaves the depot, you will leave it as we roll on by.”

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