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Courts scheduled to discuss charges in local murder case

January 5, 2012

Murder suspect Harlan Dewey is scheduled for a settlement conference, or further case management on Tuesday, Jan. 10 in Inyo County Superior Court in Independence. Dewey has pleaded not guilty to two felonies, one count for murder and one of manslaughter.
The charges follow the death of Daniel Barlow, 45, of Bishop. Barlow was found unresponsive at a residence on Winuba Lane in Bishop at approximately 9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, by Inyo County Sheriff’s deputies responding to a call. According to the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department, Barlow was transported to Northern Inyo Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Initial reports from the Sheriff’s Department were that evidence found at the crime scene led investigators to suspect “potential foul play” in Barlow’s death.
Dewey was arraigned on Dec. 16 entering his plea. He remains in custody in Inyo County Jail with a $1 million bond. Public defender Elizabeth Corpora has been assigned as counsel for Dewey.
While titled a “settlement conference” court clerk personnel explained that it does not necessarily mean there will be a settlement, as in resolution. The conference is more case management. In the thorough duty of explaining every procedure to suspects and their individual rights, many steps are taken, such as conferences and other hearings.
The settlement conference, is also a way for the court to decide if there is sufficient evidence for the suspect to be held to the charge. The settlement conference can lead to a preliminary hearing wherein evidence is heard and law enforcement and witness testimony may be presented to try and determine if the suspect matches the charges.
If it is found that a suspect who has pleaded not guilty can be held to answer to the charges, a road toward a jury trial is set.
The clerk said that the conference is procedural and not uncommon.
The clerk added that things could change at any time if, for example, Dewey changes his plea.

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