A man charged with killing a toddler in December could see his trial postponed a second time.
Ronald Saunders II, 25, of Joppa Landing Road is scheduled to go on trial Sept. 12; however, one of his attorneys said Monday that he may ask for another continuance.
Saunders is charged in connection with the death of 2-year-old Conner Bachuss.
David Bundrick said a forensic psychologist expected to testify for the defense probably won’t be unavailable the week of Sept. 12. Bundrick said he planned to meet with her later this week, but that he would most likely ask for the continuance at a hearing Friday afternoon.
“I’ll deal with it when the motion is made,” Circuit Judge Tim Kaltenbach said.
Kaltenbach rarely approves a court case being continued more than once. He instituted the policy to move cases through the judicial system more quickly.
Saunders had originally been scheduled for trial June 20-22, but Kaltenbach granted a continuance in March when attorney Will Kautz withdrew from the case because of financial reasons. Kaltenbach appointed the Department of Public Advocacy to represent Saunders. Now, Bundrick said, he and Kautz have been re-hired to represent Saunders.
Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Jim Harris, prosecutor in the case, said that by Friday he will file a motion asking for the psychologist’s testimony to be excluded. The reason is that defense attorneys have not provided the prosecution with a copy of the psychologist’s report. Bundrick said the psychologist has provided only a summary of conclusions so far and not a full, written report.
Harris said he also intends to file a motion questioning the psychologist’s expertise.
Also on Monday, an attorney for Child Watch Children’s Advocacy Center presented Kaltenbach with a copy of therapeutic records in connection with the case. Kaltenbach said he would review them by Friday. He is looking to see if exculpatory evidence, evidence that would tend to indicate Saunders is not guilty, exists in the files, which are normally kept confidential. Child Watch helps investigate and provide counseling services in cases of suspected child abuse.
Prosecutors contend Saunders suffocated Conner at Conner’s home on Vicki Lane in west McCracken County. Sheriff’s detectives have said previously Saunders was the boyfriend of the child’s mother.
Deputy sheriffs were called to the home after a 911 call Dec. 5 where Conner lived with his mother and four siblings. The caller said the boy was not breathing. Court records indicate Lourdes hospital employees found Conner had small puncture wounds on the bottoms of his feet and in his genital area. They also told a deputy that he had fresh bruises on his head, neck and arm and other injuries that could indicate sexual assault.
Conner died Dec. 10 at Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville. Deputies arrested Saunders Dec. 22 at his home. He remains jailed under a $1 million cash bond.