A court hearing for Patrick and Joy Watkins, accused of murder in the grisly death of Patrick's 10-year-old daughter Michaela, was stalled again Thursday pending test results of evidence at a state lab.
Clark Circuit Court Judge William T. Jennings scheduled the next status conference for 1 p.m. Jan. 17. as prosecutors await results from the Kentucky State Police on tissue evidence considered important to the case.
The lab results are expected to be completed in early January.
Jennings said the availability of increasingly sophisticated lab tests often creates a delay in trials.
"I know the Commonwealth is doing everything they can, and you all don't have any control over the Kentucky State Police lab," he told prosecutors. "I guess that is part of the advancement in testing techniques."
Jennings said the court will have to consider alternatives if results are not completed by the next scheduled conference.
Prosecutors agreed to disclose the results to defense attorneys as they become available.