The jury trial for a Mississippi carnival worker accused of a brutal sexual assault is set to begin late next week, but the man’s lawyer said Tuesday she is “hopeful” both sides can reach an agreement before then.
Whether Terrence D. LeFlore, 25, reaches a plea agreement with prosecutors won’t be made public until a status update Dec. 5.
Jury selection is scheduled to begin Dec. 6, with arguments and evidence set for Dec. 9.
Mackenzie Renner is representing LeFlore. At his final pretrial hearing Tuesday, she said Walworth County District Attorney Zeke Wiedenfeld will meet with the victim’s family to discuss a counterproposal for a plea agreement.
“I’m hopeful that we may actually be able to resolve this,” she told the court. “But for today’s purposes, we are confirming for trial.”
LeFlore faces charges of attempted first-degree intentional homicide, two counts of first-degree sexual assault, armed robbery, aggravated battery, first-degree reckless injury and obstructing an officer.
He has pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors accuse LeFlore of sexually assaulting and trying to kill a 21-year-old woman who was found in her car in the first block of South Lincoln Street in Elkhorn on the night of Aug. 28, 2018. She was partially clothed and unconscious.
Police arrested him Sept. 3, 2018, at the Walworth County Fairgrounds.
LeFlore previously asked Judge Phillip Koss to throw out a confession he made, arguing that now-retired Elkhorn police Detective Thomas Bushey used illegitimate “coercive tactics” during a third interrogation.
The confession of a Mississippi carnival worker accused in a brutal sexual assault in Elkhorn should not be thrown out, a Walworth County judge ruled Thursday.
Koss denied the request and said the confession can be brought in during the trial. The judge said the detective did nothing wrong.
During Tuesday’s hearing, LeFlore’s lawyer said he was “very disheartened” because of how late a DNA lab report—which Renner said she received last Friday—was turned over. She said he was “having a very hard time dealing with this at this point.”
She said he was in “disbelief” about the findings in the report, and she said she would talk to him more about the science behind it.
Wiedenfeld said at the next hearing he could explain when his office received the file and the procedure behind getting such reports.
“I’m not sure what happened in there. I don’t think there was any ill will by Mr. Wiedenfeld or anything like that,” Renner said.
LeFlore, who is in custody on a $1 million cash bond, will return for his next hearing at 10 a.m. Dec. 5.