Gilbert Waives Right to Preliminary Exam

By: Lori Dougovito
By: Lori Dougovito

The man accused of killing 12-year-old Samantha Detzler was back in court briefly Thursday afternoon. Steven James Gilbert, 36, waived his right to a preliminary exam. Gilbert is charged with one count of open murder. Police say he strangled the Lansing girl on February 19, the same day she was reported missing from her grandmother's home. Her body was found five days later near Brown Road in rural Clinton County.

Gilbert's court appearance Thursday lasted only minutes, just long enough to sign papers and have his attorney ask for a psychiatric exam. Clinton County Prosecuting Attorney Charles Sherman says it will determine if he's competent to stand trial and if he can be held criminally responsible for his actions.

Gilbert's next court date is scheduled for later this month but court proceedings can't continue until his psychiatric exam is complete.


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