ST. LOUIS - The judge overseeing a hearing in the felony invasion of privacy case against Missouri Governor Eric Greitens sets a trial date for May 14.
Wednesday morning's hearing lasted about a half-hour inside the Carnahan Courthouse downtown. The trial date was the main issue taken up before Judge Rex Burlison.
The May trial date was a victory for Greitens. One of Greitens' attorney's, Jim Bennett, argued that the governor has a right to a speedy trial. The First Assistant Circuit Attorney Robert Steele countered arguing that the prosecution needed more time for further investigation. Steele and St. Louis Circuit Attorney Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner wanted a November trial date.
Judge Burlison said that this case affects the business of the state of Missouri because of the governor's involvement. For that reason, Judge Burlison ruled that the case needs to go to trial as soon as possible. Burlison also pointed out that Greitens is charged with the lowest level of a felony so that should also mean the case can move forward quickly. We understand there are three witnesses but the prosecution says more could be added.
Greitens was indicted last week on a felony charge of invasion of privacy. He's accused of taking a non-consensual photo of a woman he was having an affair with back in 2015 then transmitting the nude or partially nude photo of the woman in a way that allowed computer access to it. In court, Gardner revealed that her office does not have the picture in question, but they are trying to get it.
Gardner told the judge that she opposes any change of venue that might come from the defense. No such request has been made yet--March 5 is the deadline for that.
The governor was not at Wednesday's hearing.