ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – Accused killer Shawn Kavanagh, who police say called 911 to report his murders, remains in court nine years after the crime. The intended target, investigators say, was the suspect’s wife, who was taking refuge with co-workers, who became stabbing victims.
FOX 2 was with a victim’s sister at the St. Charles County Courthouse on Wednesday, as she struggles through repeated delays.
In February 2014, Kavanagh reportedly called 911 to say he’d stabbed four people. Three of them, including a 7-year-old child, died in the attack. Kavanagh was almost immediately arrested and charged, yet the case continues to drag through the court system.
“It’s a constant wound, just reopened for everyone,” Haley Roberts said.
Roberts has been to court too many times to count, pushing for justice for her sister, Tara Fifer.
“We’re this close and things change again,” Roberts said.
Though the crime occurred in Warren County, the proceedings have been moved to St. Charles County because of a defense request for change of venue. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the case, which has sometimes been delayed for unusual reasons.
“One of the judges passed away. One of (the defendant’s) lawyers had gotten pregnant at one point and just wasn’t able to withstand trial,” Roberts said.
Another delay involved an attorney’s son who died in a car crash.
“I see the impact (delays have) had on first responders, investigators on the case, EMS, people who were involved in any way shape or form,” Roberts said. “This gets brought up for them continuously, over and over again, and they have to relive it the same way my family and I do, and it’s not fair.”
Another twist in this latest hearing – Kavanagh waived his right to a jury trial and asked a judge to decide his fate.
“I hope that we can all put this to rest and start living our lives, remembering our sister in a positive way, and remembering the other people involved in a positive way, instead of constantly focusing on the bad,” Roberts said.
The latest trial date is set for March.