After months of delay, a trial date has been set for Patrick and Joy Watkins, a Winchester couple charged with murder in the death of Patrick's 10-year-old daughter, Michaela.At a court hearing Thursday, Circuit Court Judge William T. Jennings scheduled the trial to begin May 5.
It marked the fourth time the couple have appeared in court for a hearing on the case. Previously, continuations were granted so attorneys could complete discovery proceedings and a state lab could finish evidence testing.
Michaela's mother Rachel Adams-Samuels said she is relieved to see the trial move forward and anxious for closure.
"It has just been a very long, difficult emotional process," said Adams-Samuels. "Next month will be a year, and it still hurts."
Prosecutors have not offered the couple a plea deal and are expecting a long trial.
A Clark County grand jury indicted the Watkins' on murder charges in May after Michaela was found dead in the couple's Memorial Park apartment on March 11.