Preliminary hearing delayed in Kirksville death

KIRKSVILLE, Mo. (AP) — A hearing for a northeast Missouri man charged with killing and dismembering his neighbor was delayed when the defendant could not attend the proceeding.

The hearing for 49-year-old Paul R. Potter of Kirksville was continued Thursday until April 12. Potter faces first-degree murder and other charges in the January death of 74-year-old Willis Edward Meredith.

Prosecutors say Potter stabbed Meredith, dismembered his body and set fires to conceal the crime. He also allegedly threw the victim’s arms at witnesses shortly before he was arrested.

The Kirksville Daily Express reports (http://bit.ly/10gMZRF ) prosecutors wanted Potter to attend the hearing. But his attorney, Kevin Locke, said Potter was not in condition to make an unplanned appearance at the hearing and the judge agreed to continue it.

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