Attorney for Layton man charged with murder wants preliminary hearing

Monday , January 09, 2017 - 4:02 PM

LORETTA PARK, Standard-Examiner Staff

FARMINGTON — The private attorney hired to represent a 20-year-old Layton man charged with murder says he wants a preliminary hearing.

In 2nd District Court, Steven Shapiro said Monday, Jan. 9, he was retained to represent Christopher S. Fritz who is accused of fatally shooting Taylor VanCamp, 24, on Dec. 19. 

Fritz is charged with murder, a first-degree felony.

RELATED: Murder charge filed against Layton 20-year-old

“I was just retained this afternoon,” Shapiro told Judge David Connors at the Monday hearing. 

Shapiro said because he was just hired on Monday he has not had time to review any evidence prosecutors may have concerning the case.

Still, Shapiro told Connors he is planning to schedule a preliminary hearing and wants to have it done before Judge David Hamilton, who is assigned the case.

“The assigned judge can certainly do a preliminary hearing, and we can handle this (preliminary hearing) on this calendar, too,” Connors said.

A preliminary hearing is when prosecutors present the evidence they have in a case before a judge who then decides if there is sufficient evidence to go forward with the case as charged. 

Connors left it up to Shapiro and the prosecutor to decide which judge will hear the preliminary hearing. They both opted for Hamilton because it will be Hamilton who will also decide if Fritz should be granted bail.

Deputy Davis County Attorney Ben Willoughby said in court he expects they will need at least one full day for a preliminary hearing.

Connors scheduled the next hearing for Jan. 18 before Hamilton. That hearing is slated as a scheduling conference and bail hearing. A preliminary hearing may be scheduled at that hearing, and Shapiro may also make a motion to have Fritz released from the Davis County Jail on bail. Currently, Fritz is being held without bail.  

You can reach reporter Loretta Park at lpark@standard.net or at 801-625-4252. Follow her on Twitter at @LorettaPark SE or like her on Facebook.

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