The Big Cut Mine owners appeared in court Friday morning to be arraigned on a Grand Jury indictment presented the prior week.
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Joseph Hardesty and Richard Churches appeared with Churches’ attorney, Glenn Peterson, before El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Daniel B. Proud. Proud distributed packets containing the indictment and asked for a plea from the defendants.
Peterson, specially appearing for Hardesty’s attorney, William Brewer, requested the entry of pleas be deferred in order to read the indictment and to have a chance to file a demure, which could get the case dismissed.
The judge asked Peterson why the pleas could not be entered during the hearing, and Peterson responded that he “might lose the opportunity to demure” if a plea was entered. He noted that if the grand jury indictment was similar to the original charges levied against the duo, there could be “ample” evidence for a demure.
Proud relented and allowed for the pleas to be deferred until a March 1 hearing in Department 2.