Prelim held on Stewarts' meth charges

Cathy Decker/Staff reporter

A joint preliminary hearing was held Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011 in Mercer County Court, regarding Class X felony charges filed against Keithsburg residents James K. Stewart, 59, and Cindy Lea Stewart, 54.

Testimony was heard from Mercer County Sheriff's investigator Dusty Terrill, who was on duty on the evening of Jan. 16, 2011, when the pair was arrested.

Also testifying was Cindy Stewart, who had asked for a bond reduction from $75,000, 10 percent, to being released on her own recognizance. Her attorney, Public defender Katherine Drummond, pointed out to the court that her client had no previous criminal record and had always lived in Mercer County. Cindy promised in her testimony, that if released, she would be present for all future court cases.

State's Attorney Gregory McHugh tried to enter testimony from a Mercer County jailer regarding note passing between the two Stewarts while they were in custody, which were objected to by Drummond and sustained by Judge James G. Conway, which means the judge would not take that testimony into consideration.

Both Stewarts pleaded not guilty and asked for a jury trial.

Judge Conway agreed to lower Cindy Stewart's bond to $65,000, 10 percent to apply. There was no motion put forward on behalf of James Stewart to lower his bond, which is currently set at $100,000, 10 percent.

A jury pre-trial conference is set for March 21 at 11 a.m., with jury trial set for April 25 at 9 a.m.